Ad of the Day: Heinz’s Perfect Story of Brotherly Love

Tom and Charlie, allies to the end

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In the U.S., Heinz Baked Beans are generally known as a retro food item and/or Mad Men plot device. But in the U.K., where they're sold as "Heinz Beanz," they're still a popular pantry staple and childhood favorite (preferably served on a piece of toast).

The brand trades on that reputation as a beloved kids' meal in this endearing new TV spot, "Little Brother," from AMV BBDO and Blink director Benito Montorio. The ad is narrated by a boy named Tom, who has a hard time dealing with his mischievous younger brother, Charlie. (Not that Charlie.) As illustrated by a series of playful vignettes, Charlie's many shortcomings include playing hide-and-seek, bike riding and goalkeeping. (Apparently he couldn't catch a cold, let alone a soccer ball.) But despite all that, Tom considers the exasperating Charlie his very best friend—a love which he demonstrates by sharing his Heinz beans with him in hopes of "growing him up a bit."

The "brotherly love" idea could have gotten a bit treacly, but the spot avoids any overt sentimentality by lending a deadpan seriousness to Tom's role as weary mentor, and by framing the entire spot from the brothers' perspective rather than that of a doting parent. Still, that doesn't mean the end result isn't completely charming; it's pretty hard not to crack a smile at Tom and Charlie's story, whether your childhood memories involved Heinz Beanz on toast or Heinz ketchup on a burger.


Client: Heinz

Chief Marketing Officer: Giles Jepson

Marketing Controller: Katie Bleach

Spot: "Little Brother"

Agency: AMV BBDO, London

Copywriter: Rich McGrann

Art Director: Andy Clough

Agency Planners: Lucy Howard, Hannah Banfield

Agency Account Team: Sam LeCoeur, Nick Andrew, Katie Gray

Television Producers: Paul Goodwin, Hannah Bhattachejee

Media Agency: Vizuem

Production Company: Blink

Director: Benito Montorio

Postproduction Company: MPC

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.