Case Study: Heinz UK Fans Warm up to Facebook Personalization Campaign - eMarketer

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Case Study: Heinz UK Fans Warm up to Facebook Personalization Campaign

Personalized soup cans drive “likes,” interactions and purchases

February 7, 2012


Heinz UK has a vibrant Facebook fan base that reaches a broad population. Its Facebook page is a platform for the consumer packaged goods (CPG) brand to connect with its diverse audience, to promote new products and to run fun promotions.


To drive deeper engagement with its loyal consumer base, the company decided to let fans create personalized “Get Well” Heinz Classic soup labels to send to friends and family members. The goal was also to remind consumers that when they felt ill, “It has to be Heinz.”

“Using Facebook allowed us to reward our fans with the opportunity to receive an exclusive product they couldn’t purchase elsewhere,” said Nigel Dickie, director of corporate and government affairs for Heinz UK & Ireland. Because the soup brand wanted to tap into Facebook’s social sharing capabilities, Dickie remarked that the same objectives could not be achieved on the brand website.


The campaign, which began in October 2011 and ran for four weeks, was promoted almost entirely through the Heinz Soup UK Facebook page. Heinz teased the personalization program to its fans in advance and used a few Facebook ads to support the offer and entice new fans. “It wasn’t a revenue-driving activity,” Dickie explained, “but more of a creative campaign to engage with consumers.”

The campaign allowed consumers to purchase a can of Heinz Classic Cream of Tomato Soup or Heinz Classic Cream of Chicken Soup and to add a recipient’s name to the iconic Heinz label. Participants could pay £1.99 (approximately $3) directly on Facebook to have the soup can created and delivered to their intended recipient.

According to Dickie, a large amount of traffic was generated from fans sharing their personalization activity with friends.


“We had a fantastic response to our ‘Get Well’ Soup campaign,” Dickie said. “It’s exciting that the campaign was so well received by consumers, who tweeted with their positive feedback.”

Following the one-month personalization campaign, Heinz UK received 32,810 new “likes” from an original base of approximately 16,000, and more than 2,000 personalized can purchases.

Metrics for Heinz UK 'Get Well' Soup Campaign, Oct 2011

Key Takeaways

Dickie attributes the campaign’s success to being able to tap into the viral nature of Facebook and offer Heinz UK’s fans there something truly exclusive. The campaign generated a lot of positive feedback.

For Heinz UK, which also conducted a sampling program for several of its ketchup brands, Facebook is used more for engagement than to drive actual sales.

“We view Facebook as a tool where we can reward our most loyal fans, as well as receive feedback and ideas,” Dickie said, adding that the social network is ideal for building excitement and for fostering brand advocacy.

Next Steps

Heinz UK plans to continue to support future activity on Facebook. The brand learned that its fans are, in fact, responsive to Facebook commerce activities, so that will open the door to more programs in the future.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Consumers Concerned About Personalized Search Results” and “Viewers in China Share Online Video by IM and Weibo.”


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