Super Bowl Sunday is an exciting time of year for advertisers as creative content from industry leaders is broadcasted and shared all around us. Once the advertisements are out there, it’s time to sit back and watch what they become through the consumer perspective. When consumers become the primary driving force, it becomes what we know to be as earned media. Generating earned media, positive or negative, makes spending close to $50 million for a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl a little more worthwhile. As the industry moves towards interactive advertising, it is important that an intentional element is included in these advertisements that will generate an abundance of earned media for the brand.
One company that did a great job generating earned media is Heinz. Heinz won over the hearts of millions of consumers across the country with their advertisement featuring a stampede of wiener dogs dressed in hot dog costumes. When consumers think of Heinz, ketchup is usually what comes to mind, forgetting the variety of other products that they offer. The company’s goal was to show consumers the variety of products that they offer in an appealing way. I would say this commercial reached that goal.
The majority of consumers buying ketchup are most likely women, specifically moms. Keeping this target audience in mind, Heinz’ strategy engages women by appealing to their emotion. The whole commercial beautifully exhibits pure joy throughout the commercial by using brilliant camera angles, featuring the lovable wiener dogs, the sunny meadow, and finally the condiments greeting them with cheerful smiles. Targeting emotion is what makes this advertisement successful, particularly with women and moms. With success, the consumers, particularly women, will associate this happiness with the brand and remember it when they are in the grocery store.
Other than me just telling you this ad was successful, I’d like to back up my statement through the extensive amount of earned media that was generated by this ad. After the launch of the advertisement the video went viral. This happened to be the first commercial I saw as the short clip filled my Facebook feed days before the Super Bowl. The brand also included the clever hashtag, #MeetTheKetchups which was trending the night of the Super Bowl. The hashtag was even mentioned by reality TV star from the Bachelor, Catherine Lowe as she declares her love for the commercial.
The advertisement was also being mentioned through traditional media such as news, radio and of course word of mouth. The ad was named one of the top Super Bowl ads by AdWeek and USA Today. I also heard the advertisement discussed on the local radio station. Since the advertisement aired this last Sunday, I have heard chatter about the lovable ad all around me, even my mom claims this advertisement as the best from the game.
In other words, great job Heinz.