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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Head of Tomato Technology

Finalist in Short Form Video

Entered in TikTok Partnership


Given its iconicity, one would think that people simply trust Heinz. Yet, when conducting social listening and interviews with Gen-Z, we found that even though next gen audiences loved Heinz ketchup, they didn’t trust how it was made. Worst yet, some believed that Heinz wasn’t made with real tomatoes.

This belief could not be farther from the truth. 

After visiting Heinz farms, we discovered an obsessive agricultural culture that went to extreme lengths to not only make ketchup, but tomatoes. In fact, Heinz is the only company in the world that owns the entire ketchup-making process from seed to tomato to ketchup. They breed a proprietary “Heinz Seed” to produce redder, thicker, tastier tomatoes. More still, they employ 4 tomato masters who oversee every part of the process to produce the highest quality product for consumers around the world.


Objective: shift the perception of how Heinz is made – not made in faceless factories, but with real tomatoes, by real people that make products with irrational love.

Insight: People irrationally love our ketchup because we go to irrational lengths to make the best tomatoes in the world.

Strategy: We irrationally love tomatoes so you can irrationally love ketchup.

Strategy and Execution

In 2023 Heinz launched a new global platform: “Heinz is made with and inspires irrational love,”. The platform is a simple, never-ending celebration of the real, irreverent and irrational ways people love the brand – a campaign for the fans, by the fans.


With the platform grounded in real stories, we decided to cast a real employee to be the face of the series: Hector Osorno, Head of Tomato Technology.

No one is as genuinely in love with Heinz than Hector. An expert with over 33 years in the field, Hector knows tomatoes so well that he considers them not fruits or vegetables, but friends. 

Instead of telling Hector’s story in a self-serious way that showcased his job description, we spotlighted his most human, personal, and irrational behaviors in five short-form social videos on TikTok and Instagram Reels. The videos showed viewers how deep Hector's love of Heinz runs – from his obsession with all things tomatoes, his affection for all things red, his closet full of Heinz swag, his two red apple watches, his love for dipping popcorn in ketchup, and even his reluctance to share the secret ingredients to Heinz ketchup.


Working with talent unfamiliar with acting, filming, or even TikTok was a challenge in and of itself. Our team worked closely with Hector for months to make him feel comfortable enough to be himself in front of the camera, and shot the series to bring his personality to life – not to follow a script.

As the Head of Tomato Technology, Hector is incredibly busy and difficult to schedule. Our team could only shoot him for 3 hours in an office room in Pittsburgh – not the most visual place and setting – especially as we were trying to entertain social savvy Gen-Zers on TikTok. So, our team edited the videos using found graphics and photography to complement Hector’s stories – from sourcing fields of tomatoes to cropping his face into a tomato and using SFX to bleep out the “secret formula” for Heinz ketchup. These effects added the irreverence, humor, and young spirit that is in line to both the Heinz voice and TikTok.




We could never have anticipated how TikTok and Instagram would react.

Hector became a social celebrity overnight. Across TikTok and Instagram, fans clamored for Hector plushies, spammed unrelated Heinz social posts for more Hector videos, dueted our videos to dote on Hector, and made irrational statements like, “I love Hector more than my parents”. The series garnered over 28.8M impressions, 99% positive sentiment, and received over 283K comments in just 2 weeks, beating organic engagement benchmarks by over 10X.

Most importantly, the campaign met our objective to shift consumer perception of the brand. People started to recognize that Heinz isn’t made in an ambiguous factory – it’s made by real people, and made with a distinct irrational love that reminds everyone that it has to be Heinz. 

Addendum: Hector didn’t just inspire our fans, but the organization itself. What started as a simple five video social series reignited the brand’s appetite to tell new stories about how Heinz is made. Global marketing leads have requested to use Hector on international channels, and it is often held up as an authentic example of how to showcase the story of how Heinz is made.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Wieden+Kennedy New York, Heinz


Entry Credits