The Approach: Picklesburgh was created to celebrate the city’s deep pickle roots and embrace a modern renaissance of the crafts of pickling and canning. The event promised pickle-themed food and cocktails, live entertainment plus pickling demonstrations and competitions, and plenty of pickle-themed memorabilia, gifts and more.
Heinz was founded in Pittsburgh in 1869, and the company is beloved in its home city. Dating back to the 1800s, tours of the H.J. Heinz factory always ended with a pickle pin, one of the city’s most coveted collectibles. At the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, H.J. Heinz gained fame for giving away one million Pickle Pins in what the Saturday Evening Post would call “one of the most famous giveaways in merchandising history.”
Callard stayed true to Heinz’s roots, curating a line of Heinz T-shirts, gifts and other items that were sold out of branded tents during the festival. Items ranged from retro-inspired T-shirts printed with a vintage Heinz logo to striking ketchup-red shirts bearing simply the iconic Heinz number 57.
For babies and kids, tiny tees and onesies featured a winking cucumber and read “I’m a little pickle.” Kitschy collectibles like a glass pickle Christmas ornament accompanied functional items such as red logo tumbler glasses.
The event kicked off on a Friday and there was a flurry of excitement about the Heinz merchandise, with inventory selling quickly. Callard spent that night arranging a last-minute shipment of over 40 boxes of merchandise to arrive to the event Saturday early morning… just in time!
The Results: Heinz made quite a splash at the first-annual Picklesburgh fest, and Callard’s eye-catching memorabilia helped the company succeed in pulling off not just a sponsorship but a true partnership. At the same time, Callard’s merchandise helped the festival in progressing toward its goal to transform the image of an industrial city into ground zero for pickle love.