Our favorite ketchup dealer rolled out an ad campaign that could be its best yet. Heniz Ketchup launched a petition that encourages hot dog and bun companies to sell equal numbers of products in each package. The dog dilemma has been questioned by grill masters for years. In case you’re more of a tofu person, here’s the gist: hot dogs typically come in packages of 10, while buns typically number 8 to a pack. Their mismatched fate has fueled a commonplace complaint most every shopper is familiar with. I mean, come on. Tell me you didn’t feel completely known when George Banks had a mental breakdown in the supermarket aisle.
The ad fires on all cylinders. It’s funny, in a quirky, dad joke sort of way. It engages with the customer and calls for their physical participation- customers are invited to actually sign the Hot Dog Pact. They’re invited to come alongside the brand for change. And in a season of celebrating and recruiting advocates to push back against all kinds of injustice, the message couldn’t fit into our current social climate better. Yes, I realize this particular injustice involves questionable meat and carbs- but it’s an injustice, nonetheless.
Our favorite part of the Heinz ad is how perfectly it fits into the StoryBrand formula. In case you’re new here, the SB formula is our favorite marketing strategy. The process follows a seven-part framework, laying out a universal storyline familiar to any audience. The Heinz campaign is effective because it fits the StoryBrand profile perfectly.
🕺 A Character/Hero: YOU. Every great ad makes the customer the hero, and Heinz does it perfectly.
🌭 Has A Problem: Every story has a problem. And I’m not sure there’s a bigger problem out there than the 8 bun/10 dog dilemma.
🧙♂️ Meets A Guide: Think Yoda, Gandalf, Dumbledore… or any other less dorky reference. The guide is the great Oz that guides the Hero to save the day. And Heinz plays the perfect Guide. They’re guiding the customers and the other brands to a peaceful agreement.
☮️ Has A Plan: The Hot Dog Pact. A fool-proof plan.
✏️ Calls Them To Action: Sign the pact! The hero (the customer) has to take action to save the day. Those hot dogs and buns aren’t going to kiss and makeup on their own.
⛈️ And If The Plan Isn’t Followed: We’re all doomed to stay in the same miserable, cook-out predicament we’re stuck in now. Pass the mustard. I’m depressed.
🌈 A Vision For The Future: And if the customer does take action, our faith in hot dog humanity is restored. Imagine BBQ bliss.
Sure, the ad is a clever one… but not that clever. It simply follows an age-old narrative that works. It works for Heinz, it works for us, and it works for most all of your favorite stories. Interested in the StoryBrand process? We’d love to tell you more.