VML: Heinz’s Unstainable Thobe

Man dressed in a thobe squirting Ketchup onto a burger

VML: Heinz’s Unstainable Thobe

Connecting to local audiences through textile innovation

In a region where understanding local culture is key to driving relevance and preference, VML identified a distinctive challenge for their client, Heinz—a reluctance among individuals to enjoy Heinz ketchup due to concerns about staining their pristine white thobes, a prevalent garment in the region. Recognising this as a barrier to establishing a meaningful connection between Heinz and the local audience, VML delved into cultural nuances to devise a creative solution.

The campaign sought to transform this cultural obstacle into an innovative solution by turning an iconic piece of Arab clothing into a stain-resistant outfit. Leveraging local expertise, VML partnered with tailors, designers, and textile makers to develop a ground-breaking fabric. This fabric featured a high-tech protective barrier specifically engineered to repel ketchup and other common stains, enabling individuals to relish Heinz ketchup without compromising the cleanliness of their thobes.

The Unstainable Thobe campaign achieved notable success, extending its reach to over nine million individuals and accumulating more than two million earned media impressions. The campaign gained global recognition, securing coverage from media outlets worldwide and earning a spot among AdAge's Top 5 Creative Campaigns for the week.

Beyond impressive metrics, the campaign's most significant impact lay in fostering positive conversations about Heinz within a cultural context that had previously seen limited engagement, with the campaign leading to a significant increase in positive social sentiment.