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Campaigns we love: Heinz Ketchup Tattoo anyone?

by | Jul 12, 2023

It’s a sign of real brand love when consumers start interacting with your brand in ways you hadn’t anticipated, and an extreme act of love when your customers decide to tattoo themselves with your brand logo!

Heinz Ketchup fan tattoos are posted all over social media, and in the past Heinz has even created a tattoo bottle based on ketchup fan Ed Sheeran’s tattoos.

But there is a dark side to this seemingly fun activity.

There are issues with tattoo ink pigments, so much so that the European Union has banned over 4,000 ingredients used in their creation, with red being the most problematic colour. The inks have been shown to cause allergic reactions, such as rashes and itchiness, as well as other complications during the application of tattoos.

The ban was put in place to protect consumers from the health risks associated with these inks. But in other countries the regulations are not so stringent. So in a brilliant use of ‘Brailling culture’, Heinz Brazil combined these facts with observations on culture to get to the insight that they could do good for the brand and its fans in one bold move. Through a partnership with Electric Ink, a Brazilian manufacturer that uses only non-harmful components in their ink, Heinz is creating their first red tattoo ink, in a new tone based on Heinz official pantone color.

Heinz Brazil brand lead, Thiago Stelle, said: “A quick search of photos and hashtags on social media makes it obvious that Heinz fans love getting tattoos with our brand and products. Clearly, we had to do something extraordinary for them and, as a result, bring a new alternative to address the issue of harmful pigment ingredients. We see this as a double opportunity, because with this new feature, we not only bring new ways to the get a Heinz tattoo  through an incredible curation of artists, but we also offer an ink that is being developed with the same care in which we choose our ingredients and make our ketchup.”

Heinz worked with five respected Brazilian tattoo artists to create 57 original Heinz tattoo stencils – echoing the brand’s trademark phrase of “57 Varieties.” 

The launch of the Heinz Ketchup tattoo ink is based on a deep understanding of Heinz’s customers, with one eye firmly on the inevitable media coverage around the innovation. Heinz knows that its customers are passionate about the brand, and they are always looking for new and innovative ways to express their love of ketchup.

The tattoo ink is a perfect way for customers to do just that.

I was lucky enough to be given my own temporary tattoo at a recent Heinz Ketchup brand event which I am saving for a special occasion when I need a bit more ‘sauce’!

If you’re interested in unpicking and decoding creative work like we are here at Now Go Create, check out our Insights course.

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