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Heinz puzzles consumers with latest branding exercise

With COVID-19 leaving consumers in lockdown and seeking new sources of entertainment, brands are looking for fresh ways to engage with their audience.

And despite FMCG being one of the few sectors to witness growth during this time, as consumers stockpile groceries and spend more time cooking at home, some brands are stepping outside their area of expertise to offer something a little different.

Heinz Ketchup is capitalising on the resurgence of jigsaws, with the creation of its very own puzzle. The Heinz twist being that there are 570 pieces, and they are all identical Heinz red.

“Heinz ketchup isn’t the only staple on Aussie tables, with puzzle pieces now a hugely popular iso-hobby. So, we’ve gone ahead and created the puzzle to end all puzzles – a ridiculously slow all-red ketchup jigsaw to help pass the time,” Shane Kent, chief marketing officer, Heinz Australia, said of the launch.

“Just like the satisfaction from when you finally tap, shake and squeeze that last dollop of ketchup out of the bottle, this puzzle is worth the patience. Only this time, our fans might need more than elbow grease to solve it.”

According to Google Trends, puzzle-related Google searches soared by 650 per cent in Australia over the past three months. 

Heinz is holding a competition to award puzzles to 57 fans in 17 countries around the world. To enter, consumers are asked to share their most puzzling ketchup combination on social media.

Christie Nicholas, marketing expert and chief growth partner at called it a great, simple campaign that speaks to their audience.

“Heinz has created an ‘added value’ product that naturally links current behaviour to their brand, while fostering a sense of community and fun, what we all need,” Nicholas told Inside FMCG.

“You’ve got here a nostalgic favourite brand and a nostalgic favourite activity – together they naturally work.”

Heinz isn’t the only FMCG brand to extend a fresh offer to consumers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Biscuit brand Arnott’s recently begun sharing its coveted recipes, adapted for home baking, which has become a popular hobby for many in isolation.

“The lessons here for other consumer brands who want to play a role in today’s climate, is to look beyond campaigns that ‘push product’ and focus more on ‘adding value’,” Nicholas said.

“Consider the key activities your customers are spending extra time on at the moment and what they need at the moment. Brainstorm what role can you play to add value to their lives, and productise a value-add offering that naturally involves your brand.”

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