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In the “Pokie” Featured

9:42am EDT July 22, 2002
Heinz USA is seeking to capitalize on the Pokemon phenomenon by teaming its Ore Ida and familiar ketchup products with the kiddie craze.

Heinz and Warner Home Video are teaming up in a national consumer promotion that features an offer of a $5 mail-in rebate for a copy of “Pokemon: The First Movie.”

Heinz is featuring five Pokemon characters on its ketchup containers during the promotion. The likenesses of Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Squirtle, Chamander and Charizard are gracing the familiar keystone-shaped labels.

The promotion would appear to have powerful appeal, given the combination of recognizable consumer brands and the $7 billion Pokemon industry that includes video games, trading cards and a top-rated television show.

As for as the profits that Heinz might expect from the marketing scheme, the theme of a campaign that once proved hugely successful for the No. 1 ketchup maker might say it all: Anticipation.

Ray Marano