SMUNDAY: Heinz’s campaign for a national holiday

By: Nicole Raymond

The Super Bowl is known for parties, high energy, junk food, beverages and an opportunity for all Americans, even those who don’t pay attention to football. It has become a large part of our society, so large in fact, that Heinz created a petition for the Monday after the Super Bowl to become a national holiday “SMUNDAY,” according to Adweek. Heinz isn’t the first brand to suggest this crazy idea. In 2012, Coke Zero tried something similar.

Heinz’s goal was to receive 100,000 signatures on their petition, which is the number it takes to ensure congress will consider the petition and its contents. While the brand admits it was a fun activity, they implemented this idea with the intention of going through with the process. So why did this popular company skip the Super Bowl, the highest-watched televised program each year, and head straight for the day after?

Think of all the money Heinz saved by skipping the Super Bowl, but remaining in the Super Bowl arena. They didn’t buy advertising space during the Super Bowl, which in itself saved Heinz millions of dollars, but they still allowed themselves to be in the news by creating a timely campaign people could relate to and cared about.

The idea was backed by the people who watch the Super Bowl every year and dread getting up and heading to work the next day. In fact, their research showed the Monday after the Super Bowl was actually costing the country about $1 billion every year from “sick” employees who didn’t show up and low productivity from employees who made it to work. So with seemingly unrelated ideas, how did Heinz relate this stunt back to their brand?

A successful campaign will use research to create a unique idea that is interesting to their public, but they will also be sure those ideas relate back to their brand, products or values. Heinz accomplished this task by relating their campaign back to the Heinz company values. The Heinz petition website says, “At Heinz we believe in never settling. Never settling with food. And never settling in life.” By never settling with food, they reinforce their commitment to producing quality condiments and not having to eat bland food. By never settling in life, Heinz supports different lifestyles and recognizes the fact that most people don’t want to go to work on the Monday after the Super Bowl. In the name of not settling in life, they’ve created a petition to change the Monday after the Super Bowl from a workday to a national holiday. In doing so, Heinz gave all of their employees the day off on the Monday after the Super Bowl.

What do you think of this campaign and petition? Was it clever or silly? Do you think it worked?

Nicole Raymond is senior majoring in public relations and double minoring in marketing and communications. This is her first year serving on EMU PRSSA’s E-Board as VP of External Relations. Nicole is a wife, aunt, daughter, sister and friend. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @nicoleraymond74.

 

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