- Heinz is challenging fans to an online endurance test that could see them win a product package tailored to family burger night, according to a press release.
- The "Hold for Heinz" sweepstakes asks visitors of Heinz.com to wait 57 minutes to enter for a chance to nab one of 157 new burger kits from the condiment marketer. The kit includes a custom red spatula, apron, grill mitt, napkins, plates and Heinz's ketchup, relish and mustard.
- Once the nearly hour-long loading screen is finished, visitors can fill out an entry form to enter the sweepstakes that runs through early March. The stunt is the latest from Heinz to recognize that many homebound consumers have a lot of free time during the pandemic.
Heinz is putting fans to the test in order to secure one of its new burger kits, a swag bundle catered to family dinners. Asking website visitors to wait an "agonizing" 57 minutes (the number is a nod to some dubious Heinz history) could be a tall order, but plenty of people have more free time and are feeling listless as the pandemic nears the one-year milestone in the U.S. People at the same time are spending more time on their laptops and other screens either for work or as a distraction during the health crisis, so they may be accustomed to digital monotony.
"Hold for Heinz" builds on other plays from the packaged foods brand that appear deliberately frustrating. Last May, Kraft Heinz Canada introduced a ketchup puzzle uniformly painted in the condiment's signature red hue. The 570-piece puzzle was designed to be the world's slowest, referencing the slow pour of Heinz Ketchup, and was a bid to capitalize on a surge in sales for the games category. The 57-minute load time currently on Heinz.com pays similar homage to the slow pour.
"Well that was slow," a landing page reads after the load time concludes. "But good things take time. So, as a thank you for waiting 57 minutes, we're offering you the chance to win a HEINZ Burger Kit to help bring a moment of magic to your family's table."
Marketers have more broadly gotten creative when it comes to providing digital distractions to those cooped up at home. Around the Super Bowl, Miller Lite asked followers to manually type in an 836-character URL to receive a Venmo payment from the brand roughly equivalent to the price of a six-pack of beer. Miller Lite ran the calorie-burning challenge during rival Michelob Ultra's big game spot.
Kraft Heinz is among the packaged foods brands that have seen sales rebound thanks to the pandemic after years of struggling to find growth. Net sales increased 6.2% in the fourth quarter of 2020 to $6.9 billion, beating estimates. Marketing is playing a larger role in Kraft Heinz's strategy as it looks to sustain the windfall. The company earlier this year sold its Planters snack nut portfolio to Hormel Foods for $3.35 billion.