Heinz Invites America to Vote for the Next Great Ketchup Commercial: Fifteen Semi-Finalists Chosen from Thousands of Entries in 'Top This' TV Challenge

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There's no doubt that America can no longer keep its talent all "bottled-up!" Heinz(R) received 4,157 qualified video entries for its "Top This" TV Challenge - an overwhelming number of submissions for a challenge asking consumers to create the next great Heinz Ketchup commercial that will air on national TV. Now, Heinz is asking America to select the winner by visiting TopThisTV.com between August 27 and September 10, 2007, to view the top 15 semi-finalist ads and vote for their favorite.

Clearly, people put a tremendous amount of time, passion, energy and creativity into their videos, and it really showed. We were thoroughly impressed with all of the talent in the submission pool, but after careful consideration by the entire judging panel, we felt these 15 semi-finalists were the shining stars of the competition.

    Meet the Remarkable Cast

The semi-finalists span the country from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Burbank, Calif., including a songwriter, personal trainer, photography teacher and a myriad of aspiring directors, writers and actors with diverse backgrounds. But they all share a common goal of wanting to win $57,000 and a well-earned place in the 130-year history of a bona fide cultural icon, when their commercial airs on national TV during the "Primetime Emmys(R), Live!" September 16 on FOX. Additionally, four runner-up ads will air during NBC's "The Today Show" the following day with the creators each receiving $5,700.

The 15 "Top This" TV Challenge semi-finalists are:

-- Robert Castillo of Jersey City, N.J.

-- Jared Cicon of Claremont, Calif.

-- Heather Collins of Santa Ana, Calif.

-- Jeffrey Conlon of Canton, Mich.

-- Andrew Dodson of Wheelersburg, Ohio

-- Joseph Garner of Los Angeles

-- Justin Kady of Shelby Township, Mich.

-- Chip Johnson of Hampton, Va.

-- Jeremiah Jones of Burbank, Calif.

-- Michael Moretti of Hermosa Beach, Calif.

-- Destorm Muhammad of Brooklyn, N.Y.

-- Keith Parish of Fleetwood, Pa.

-- Dan Raleigh of Bloomington, Minn.

-- David Rorie of Phoenix

-- Michael Thelin of Hermosa Beach, Calif.

Although these semi-finalists have been crowned as the creators of the top 15 videos, Heinz judges acknowledge they had to make some difficult decisions in the selection process. "With so many creative and original commercials, it was tough to pick just a handful of our favorites," said David Ciesinski, vice president for Heinz Ketchup. "Clearly, people put a tremendous amount of time, passion, energy and creativity into their videos, and it really showed. We were thoroughly impressed with all of the talent in the submission pool, but after careful consideration by the entire judging panel, we felt these 15 semi-finalists were the shining stars of the competition."

In response to the tremendous outpour of interest in the contest, Heinz announced that it will launch "Top This" TV Challenge Take Two, which invites consumers back in October for another chance to win $57,000 and an opportunity for their ad to air on national TV.

Visit TopThisTV.com to vote for your favorite commercial between August 27 and September 10, 2007, and to learn more about "Top This Take Two."

About Heinz

H. J. Heinz Company, offering "Good Food Every Day"(TM) is one of the world's leading marketers and producers of healthy and convenient foods specializing in ketchup, sauces, meals, soups, snacks and infant nutrition. Heinz provides superior quality, taste and nutrition for all eating occasions whether in the home, restaurants, the office or "on-the-go." Heinz is a global family of leading branded products, including Heinz(R) ketchup, sauces, soups, beans, pasta and infant foods (representing over one third of Heinz's total sales), Ore-Ida(R) potato products, Weight Watchers(R) Smart Ones(R) entrees, Boston Market(R) meals, T.G.I. Friday's(R) snacks, and Plasmon infant nutrition. Heinz is famous for its iconic brands on five continents, showcased by Heinz(R) ketchup, The World's Favorite Ketchup(R). Information on Heinz is available at http://www.heinz.com.

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Tracey Parsons
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