Leo Burnett employs baby birds in ad for Heinz tomato sauce

Leo Burnett has created a TV ad for Heinz Tomato Ketchup, which will break on MTV in mid-April.

The ad develops the creative idea that no meal is complete without the sauce and uses the "You can't eat without it" strapline.

Heinz began this positioning in 2001 in an attempt to assert itself as the definitive tomato ketchup brand. Instead of focusing on product quality, the aim was to build a "larger than life" personality for the brand.

The 20-second ad, "chicks", features a mother bird flying home to her nest of tweeting chicks with a worm for them to eat. When they refuse to eat it, the mother bird flies off to pick up a sachet of tomato ketchup.

When they see this, the chicks go mad with excitement and the strapline appears on screen: "You can't eat without it."

Paul Shearer, the joint executive creative director at Leo Burnett, said: "The ad is one of those great ideas on paper that has been lovingly crafted to make a utterly charming piece of work. A triumph for the special-effects people."

The commercial was written and art directed by Mike McKenna and Greg Martin. It was directed by Nick Seresin through The Moving Picture Company.

Media planning and buying was handled by Starcom Motive.

Previous ads in the campaign have included three press executions and the TV commercials "ice station" and "granny".

In additional promotional activity, Heinz is spending £10 million on a year-long sponsorship of the ITV soap Emmerdale. The tomato ketchup brand will be promoted for six months.

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