AdvertisementAnalysisBeing one of theoldest and most trusted food brand in America and across the world, Heinzmanufactures and markets a very extensive line of food products varying fromcondiments, dipping sauce, salad dressing to vegetable juice. With such variety,the most recognized product that Heinz offers is its signature ketchup. Everyyear, more than 650 million people use Heinz ketchup as a condiment to enhancethe flavors of their meals (Statistic Brain). However, to be in almost everyhousehold, Heinz has to heavily advertise its products. In fact, the companyspends millions and millions of dollars each year to effectively put out theads.
Behind each ad is the hard and creative work of trying to tell theconsumers about Heinz beliefs in every product that the company produces. Thisessay will look at a Heinz ketchup advertisement put out in 2013 and analyzethe ad under a very semiotic perspective. Looking at theadvertisement for the first time, one cannot miss the bright and vivid redbackdrop that not only matches the brands color but also represents the truecolor of tomato, the main ingredient of a ketchup. In the middle stands awell-known traditional Heinz ketchup bottle with a special feature of beingmade out of slices of tomatoes. Below the ketchup bottle is a text that reads”No one grows ketchup like Heinz”. While a simpleadvertisement with such a minimalistic approach, the combination of text andpicture offers insight into the values of the targeted consumers.
With a waveof recognition of healthy food, people, nowadays, start to give more attentionto the food that they eat. Usually, “How many calories are in one serving?”, “Howmuch preservatives are there?” or even “how long can I store the product in thefridge without having to worry about the decrease in nutrition values?” are thequestions that buyers have in mind when purchasing food. Catching the concerns,Heinz uses those to target their customers and further the effectiveness of itsketchup promotion.
Doubtlessly, ketchup is usually overloaded with both sugarand preservatives. However, in our case, a ketchup bottle made out of slices ofripe tomatoes indicates the only ingredient used in production and itsfreshness. Through this ad, Heinz is attempting to redefine the consumer’sperception by luring its audience into thinking that its ketchup is an equivalentof a healthy fresh fruit. No other brand can confidently produce ketchup andcompete against the company when it comes down to its freshness and nutritionvalues. To convince Heinz is the best ketchup in the market, the company continuesto states that “No one grows ketchup like Heinz.” Being such a well-knownbrand, sometimes, Heinz can use a bold statement, such as the “No one growsketchup like Heinz”, without needing any further evidence to back it up. It’sobvious that ketchup is made in factory, not grown; yet, as the text reads, itis clear that the marketers behind this campaign are trying transform the waypeople think of ketchup, instead of a sugary condiment, into a nutritious, rawingredient.
Doing so, the marketers have, in some ways, successfully created aunique selling point and attached a “healthy” connotation to ketchup, whichwould eventually attract more buyers, especially those in the healthy eatingsegment. Moreover, in a society where the people arefully aware that Heinz is full of preservatives and the government are tryingto tighten the food regulations, it’s imperial that Heinz put out anadvertisement that can reassure their consumers. By doing so, it proves to thepublic that Heinz is a responsible company as it always tries to not onlycomply with the laws but also think of nothing but the best for its customerwhen it comes down to quality. Whether the firm actually changed its recipe forthe ketchup still remained unknown, the ad is also intended for people who arelooking for better quality food. In fact, as a genderless- and ageless-basedadvertisement, the intention behind it could be trying to target parents whoare always looking out for healthier food for their children, athletes who aretrying to cut out sugar and preservative, or even healthy stores like TraderJoe’s, Whole Foods, etc. As for not onlya universally recognized brand like Heinz, every advertisement put out by anycompanies can be interpreted in many different ways. In Heinz case, a buyer cansee slices of tomatoes on top of each other being an idea of art and creativework, and therefore, associate the ad with possibly a campaign that encouragesfarmers to grow tomatoes with the company. Many others could also think thatHeinz now owns farms across the country.
With that, many interpretations couldbe made just by analyzing one ad; however, whether what interpretation it iswill depend upon the values and norms of the people in a particular sector of oursociety. By making the ad simple but straight-forward, the marketers at Heinzhave made the ad short but attention-grabbing, highlighting the key benefit ofwhat millions and millions of people eat every day, ketchup.