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Analysis: Advertising Ketchup

An Evolution

Picture a late evening in 1933 in a picturesque suburb in North America. A mother preparing dinner, her children playing with others around the block close by, and her husband reading the evening paper. As the family gets together and starts eating their meal, the husband is delighted and compliments his wife’s cooking. Her children claim to love the taste, even finishing their vegetables; for all of this, she credits Heinz Ketchup. It would seem as if Heinz has found the perfect place in this family.

This is the image that their advertising campaigns have tried to portray time and again throughout history. Advertising is a powerful tool and has historically informed the understanding of our cultural, social and political ethos. However, as a field advertising has a dualistic function which is to inform and to influence consumers (Strasser, 2003, p. 377). It is a visual and auditory reflection of our cultural norms, social expectations, and sociopolitical environment and plays an active role in making meaning of the world around us.