Heinz says it’s time to ditch Roman numerals for Super Bowl 57

    • Kraft Heinz is looking to eliminate what it says is confusion over how Super Bowl games are numbered with a new campaign, titled “LVII Meanz 57,” that protests the use of Roman numerals, according to a press release.
    • The multi-channel effort is aptly timed ahead of the 2023 game — Super Bowl 57 — the same number the brand has sported on its ketchup label for over 100 years. As part of the push, the brand launched a microsite where consumers can vote on whether or not Roman numerals should be dropped.
    • The campaign also includes a minute-long ad spot that tests consumer knowledge of Roman numerals, with the majority of respondents failing to identify what LVII means. The effort sees Heinz foregoing a traditional big game advertising spot in favor of a humorous play.

    Time is of the essence, and for Kraft Heinz, there’s arguably no better year to protest the use of Roman numerals than during the big game’s 57th occurrence, conveniently the same number that has been trademarked by the brand and sported by its ketchup bottles for a century. The brand is foregoing a traditional ad spot in the Super Bowl this year for its self-labeled “anti-advertising” advertisement, a strategic move that saves it from the $7 million needed to secure a 30-second spot this year.

    “LVII Meanz 57” was inspired by the hundreds of consumers who took to social media last year to protest the supposedly confusing nature of Roman numerals for the Super Bowl, per BrandWatch data cited by Kraft Heinz. To help prove the allegations, the brand took to the streets to ask consumers what the numeral LVII means to create playful ad spot. Most respondents were visibly confused, with one person even suggesting the numeral represented military time.

    From now until Super Bowl 57, which is slated for Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona, Kraft Heinz is also inviting the masses to share their thoughts on whether or not the counting system should be booted via a poll at for the chance to win a limited-edition ketchup bottle that boasts the campaign’s title. Consumers are also encouraged to share their thoughts on social media with the hashtag #LVIIMeanz57.” The effort was created in collaboration with Rethink, Starcom’s Publicis 57, Carat and Zeno Group.

    Kraft Heinz is one of several brands who have opted for pre-Super Bowl campaigns this year. Most recently, PepsiCo’s Gatorade launched a social media challenge to promote its new energy drink, Fast Twitch, that will see it give away three free tickets to the big game. Verizon also recently launched a sweepstakes meant to promote its Welcome Unlimited plan that will reward winners with Super Bowl tickets for the next three years.


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