Vox pop

The new Heinz Ketchup bottle – a wide-bottomed, inverted plastic model designed to make the sauce flow more freely – launches this week, side-lining the iconic glass bottle. Is this a triumph of function over form or is there a case for accepting the limi

‘In an ideal world Heinz’ new functionality would be another equity. A well-functioning form and relevant brand equity are not mutually exclusive; the two should work in harmony. This purely functional and rather bland form potentially opens the door for every competitor to ape them. Distinction is difficult enough. Give it up at your peril.’

Bruce Duckworth, Managing director, Turner Duckworth

‘Glass bottles of ketchup on neatly laid tables are charming. Clearing up 500ccs of ketchup and shards of glass, once one has been dropped, is not. People will vote with their shopping trolleys, and Heinz will either triumph or think again. The original bottle is of importance, but brand managers and designers must focus on anticipating how people will set their priorities.’

Martin Darbyshire, Managing director, Tangerine Direction & Design

‘The new design has obviously been led by functionality and added value. But, unfortunately, aesthetics and brand equities have been sidelined. However, this doesn’t diminish the value of the “iconic” glass bottle. In fact, it creates a greater contrast and choice and if the new pack were better designed it would be more likely to threaten the status of the original.’

Neil Hirst, Creative director, Design Bridge

‘It amuses me no end that brand owners readily attach the term “equity” to totally generic things such as colours, wafts of steam, and swooshes, yet are willing to jettison the Bisto Kids, the Kit-Kat foil, the Perrier bottle, the UPS logo, and now the dear old Heinz bottle. It makes you think that modern marketing is totally f***ed.’

Richard Murray, Marketing partner, Williams Murray Hamm

‘Heinz’ brand equity is the distinctive Keystone and Red (in the case of ketchup); it’s a nice bottle, but not a Coke bottle. Farewell to the awkward “fall out of the fridge when you open the bloody door because its balancing upside down” bottle. Although I’m going to miss shaking it about and smacking its arse.’

Spencer Buck, Joint creative director, Taxi Studio

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