PR > PR: Sectors


RETHINK, Toronto / KRAFT / 2022


Silver Cannes Lions
CampaignCampaign(opens in a new tab)
Supporting Images
Supporting Images




Why is this work relevant for PR?

The Heinz Hot Dog Pact tapped into an universal insight to drive meaningful conversation and action from consumers on a North American scale. The campaign sparked a conversation around a global consumer pain point, serving as a catalyst for change in the hot dog industry. Not only did the news make headlines on every major outlet across North America, it piqued the interest of the U.S. National Hot Dog and Sausage Council to publicly demand answers from big big bun and weiner companies, inundated news feeds, and engaged more than 30,000 North Americans to sign the petition.


Heinz Ketchup is known the world over for being the ketchup standard. But being as big as Heinz has its own set of challenges. While it’s hard to be the king of ketchup, it’s becoming increasingly harder to maintain our relevance, brand love, and leadership position within the category.

The brief was to create a press-worthy act that would hack culture and earn attention by inserting Heinz into a relevant conversation that was ownable for the brand.

Our challenge? Get North Americans talking about and publicly declaring their love for Heinz Ketchup during BBQ season.

Describe the creative idea

For over 150 years, Heinz Ketchup has been the condiment that brings together hot dog buns and wieners to create one of North America’s most iconic summer staples - the hot dog.

Through social listening and cultural commentary, we uncovered one of the world’s most controversial injustices: wieners come in packs of 10 and buns come in packs of 8. Why? It’s archaic, a travesty and frankly, a serious waste of hot dogs.

As the condiment of summer, Heinz needed to put an end to the madness. Enter the Heinz Hot Dog Pact, a campaign aiming to solve this obnoxious consumer pain point by brokering negotiations between bun and wiener companies to finally sell even quantities. We called on North Americans to join the movement and sign our petition at, proving to big bun and wiener companies that the time for change is now.

Describe the PR strategy

Following Canadian and U.S. long weekends, when the pain point of unequal packaging was top of mind amongst our target audience of North American millennials, we hacked culture and inserted Heinz into the zeitgeist.

We turned to TikTok, the authority in credible, breaking news, and where this social unrest began. We identified the most ownable creator, Lubalin - a viral phenom, known for creating videos that piece together drama sourced from the internet - to reignite the debate, making it trend in social news feeds.

Knowing media aren’t clamoring to cover condiment news, we leveraged the viral responses from Lubalin’s video, proving bun to wiener ratios was worthy of the top story on the 6 o’clock news. With a headline the press couldn’t ignore, we swooped in, positioning the brand as the hero in brokering negotiations between wiener and bun companies, demanding a solution for unequal packs.

Describe the PR execution

Tapping into National Hot Dog Month, we scaled far and wide targeting pitches for satirical late night shows like Steven Colbert, to tube-shaped food outlets like Dine and even hard-hitting news desks that cover global issues.

We launched the campaign with social posts, online videos, and Lubalin’s outrageous social anthem on TikTok, where internet drama festers best. Bringing to life some of the world’s most contentious bun-to-weiner ratio comments, the video ignited online conversation. Lubalin demanded people sign the Heinz Hot Dog Pact petition to have their voices heard and play a part in changing hot dog history.

Once the conversation started to bubble and wiener enthusiasts and celebs took notice, we released a statement calling out big bun and wiener companies to do better. To further troll these companies, we leveraged contextual relevant out of home.

List the results

The campaign sparked a conversation of continental scale generating over 1.55 billion earned impressions, exceeding our KPI by 948%, making the Heinz Hot Dog Pact the most successful earned campaign to date in the history of Heinz Ketchup.

The campaign was featured on Inside Edition, Barstool Sports, CBS This Morning, Late Night with Stephen Colbert and CTV, CP24, with media calling out big bun and big weiner companies. In fact, the uproar became so heated that the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council was called in to defend the decision behind their bun-to-wiener ratios. Media reached out to national grocers, bread conglomerates and weiner companies, like Oscar Meyer for comments. Not only did we own the BBQ season conversation, we raised awareness about a conversation that has annoyed the world for far too long and positioned Heinz as a hero trying to solve a decades-long debate.

We created a groundswell of engagement on social media, earning 25MM impressions across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

Heinz Ketchup reported a 2.3% sales lift from the year prior and a +1% increase in share within the Ketchup category, and rallied more than 33,000 North Americans to sign the Heinz Hot Dog Pact Petition.

As for the uneven hot dog and buns packages, the campaign got the entire continent talking about Heinz Ketchup, and brands have been calling to get involved. Wonder Bread took notice, and we’re working together on making 10-bun packs, launching Summer 2022.

More Entries from Food & Drink in PR

24 items

Grand Prix Cannes Lions

Social Engagement



(opens in a new tab)

More Entries from RETHINK

24 items

Gold Cannes Lions

Food & Drink



(opens in a new tab)