- Heinz is partnering with Burger King and navigation app Waze to dish out free ketchup and Impossible Whoppers to Canadians stuck in summer traffic who are driving at the same speed as its slow-pouring condiment (0.045 km per hour), per a press release.
- Through July 4, drivers in a traffic jam will receive traffic-activated ads in the Waze app, and some going the speed of ketchup will get a digital coupon for the plant-based meal and condiment at Burger King. The campaign extends online with a video that weaves together user-generated content from Canadians stuck in traffic, as well as through micro-influencer partnerships, targeted social content and traffic-activated digital out-of-home ads that react to the speed of surrounding traffic, per Media in Canada.
- The partnership is tied to the statistic that 80% of Canadians plan to travel in 2021, but most will not cross international borders, suggesting that local summer traffic could be worse than usual this year.
Heinz is again riffing on the idea of delayed gratification with a lighthearted rewards program that nods to the brand's famously slow-pouring ketchup bottles. Teaming with fast food giant Burger King is notable in that the deal allows both food-related brands to reach each other's customers in a natural fashion. Private equity firm 3G Capital Partners partly owns both Kraft Heinz and Restaurant Brands International, Burger King's parent company.
The move builds on other plays from the packaged foods brand that lean into the frustrating nature of its condiments slow pour. In February, Heinz challenged fans to an online endurance test for a chance to snag one of 157 burger kits, including a custom red spatula, apron, grill mitt, napkins, plates and Heinz's ketchup, relish and mustard. "Hold for Heinz" asked visitors of Heinz.com to wait 57 minutes to enter the sweepstakes, recognizing that consumers had more free time during the pandemic and were typically spending more time online.
Prior to that, Kraft Heinz Canada in May 2020 debuted an all-red puzzle, an intentionally frustrating activity that paid homage to the ketchup's slow pour.
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 were up 3.9% in 2021's first quarter, beating estimates, while the company forecasts a mid-single-digit lift again in the second quarter. Marketing is playing a larger role in Kraft Heinz's strategy as it looks to maintain the windfall.
For Burger King, traffic-related stunts aren't new. The chain's Mexico business linked rewards to traffic in a similar fashion in 2019 in an award-winning activation dubbed "Whopper Detour." Collecting real-time data from the parts of Mexico City that were experiencing heavy traffic, Burger King delivered food to drivers in their cars as they waited in gridlock. Beer brand Heineken ran a Waze campaign ahead of Memorial Day weekend to deter people from drinking and driving, suggesting that some brands may see an opportunity with the navigation app as people return to traveling.