Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Bizarre Marketing Ploy

Maybe I missed something, and this has been all over the airwaves and I just didn't notice. But just now I was being a good mom and defrosting my son's daily frozen corndog, and after I squirted some oh-so-wholesome Heinz Ketchup on his plate, I put the bottle down on the counter and some words on the label caught my eye. Those words were "Lindsay Lohan."


I know she's kind of been everywhere this past year, but on a bottle of ketchup? That's just weird. Besides, I was kind of under the impression that she'd stopped eating solid food.

The back label explained a bit more: "(gold star)LIMITED EDITION(gold star) For a limited time, some of the your favorite stars are telling the world why they love the thick and rich taste of Heinz Ketchup. And Heinz is saying thank you by donating to the charities of their choice. (gold star)Collect All 4 Today(gold star)"

I examined the bottle futher. The band around the neck of the bottle said "Limited Celebrity Edition," "Heinz Celebrity Labels," and "Collect Today!" But if Lindsay's description of why she loves the thick and rich taste of Heinz Ketchup was on the bottle somewhere, I couldn't find it. OTOH, if that description had been there, I can't say the bottle would have increased in value for me. I don't really care why Lindsay Lohan or anyone else loves the thick and rich taste of Heinz Ketchup, and I can't imagine that even the most celebrity-obsessed teenybopper would.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with Heinz donating to charity. The more big corporations like Heinz donate to charity, the better, as far as I'm concerned. But why exactly would they need to get celebrities involved? And what dumbass marketing executive decided that just spelling out the name of a celebrity on the front of a ketchup bottle was going to sell more ketchup? Who in the hell do they think is so pathetic that they would bother to collect all 4?

I checked the Heinz website and there's no mention of this particular promotion on it. I have no idea how old our bottle of ketchup is -- well, I mean, it's probably been purchased within the last 3 or 4 months, but I couldn't get more specific than that -- so maybe this promotion was a dud and they moved on from it quickly or something. But I have to say, I'm perplexed. If anyone has any insight into why this sort of thing would be expected to move bottles of ketchup, please let me know.

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