Tuesday, October 11, 2011

To Those Who Wait

Vintage ad for Heinz Ketchup

The cooling fries mocked me, lying bare upon the plate, as I shook the Heinz ketchup bottle to no effect. Like a ignorant ape, I had been waving and jerking this bottle about for a length of time that seemed to stretch on to eternity. The crimson sludge moved at a glacial pace. But this gave my youthful mind a moment to consider.

I hate ketchup!!!

Well, that's not quite true. I hate working and waiting for a mere condiment. They are extravagances, unnecessary additions to a meal. With no positive nutritional value, they offer only empty calories. It would be best if condiments were not eaten at all. So why engage in a foolish struggle for it?!!

But even more loathsome than the Heinz ketchup bottle were the detestable packets! Oh, how I despised tearing their corners and kneading the plastic to force out a pittance of flavor. Such a mess. Such a waste!

And so I stopped using ketchup as a regular addition to my meals. Mustard, mayo, salsa, Tabasco, plentiful choices were available to bring my meals added flavor. It wasn't until Heinz came out with a squeeze bottle that I started using ketchup again. ;-)

The Heinz company was founded in 1869 by H. J. Heinz

That's enough ranting. Let's look at some ads.

It's hard to believe that early Heinz commercials made the tedium of pouring the ketchup into a marketing point. But that was their main ad concept for two decades, using Carly Simon's "Anticipation" in a late '70s campaign and promoting the product with the "Good things come to those who wait" slogan in the late '80s. Contrary to my feelings on the subject, the longevity of this concept indicates that marketing a weakness as a strength actually worked.

Featuring Carly Simon's "Anticipation"

Featuring Matt LeBlanc and Jon Astley's "Jane's Getting Serious"

Then it appears that consumers of my generation and frame of mind entered the target demographic for ketchup. The "good" vs. "slow" cost benefit analysis was no longer a winning slogan. So Heinz decided to focus on the "delicious" trait of the product.

Now, even the loathsome packets are being replaced. Woo hoo!!!

It's weird, but I still enjoy eating my fries with mustard. But now Heinz ketchup is a viable option as a condiment for my meals again. ;-)


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