50 years later, Heinz is actually running Don Draper’s ‘Pass the Heinz’ ads, a joint effort between David Miami and Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.
It was a compelling idea, even if the client wasn’t convinced at the time.
Fifty years ago, in the fictional world of Mad Men, Don Draper pitched a daring ad campaign to Heinz execs, for the brand’s ketchup, that proposed not showing the product at all. Instead, the ads would show close-ups of foods that go great with ketchup—french fries, a cheeseburger, a slice of steak—but without any ketchup in sight.
Don’s proposed tagline: “Pass the Heinz.”
The campaign’s “Got Milk?”-like strategy of creating a craving for a product through its absence was apparently too far ahead of its time. Don didn’t get the account. (Nor, for that matter, did Peggy Olson, who, pitching for a competing agency, presented a much more product-centric campaign right after Don.)
But now, in 2017, the time for “Pass the Heinz” has come.
In a meta union of advertising’s real and fictional worlds, Heinz just greenlighted the ads—and will run them almost exactly as Draper intended, beginning today, in print and out-of-home executions in New York City.
Partly a PR stunt, partly just solid on-brand communications, the campaign is sure to delight fans of the AMC show, which in July will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its premiere. And in a nice touch, the ads are officially being credited to Heinz’s current agency, David Miami, and to Don’s fictional 1960s firm, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. (Draper and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, who approved the idea, are both listed in the credits.)
Heinz tells AdFreak that each of the three ads will get its own billboard in NYC. All three ads will also run in the New York Post, and the fries execution will run in Variety too. The ads will get support across Heinz’s social media channels as well.
Below are the three ads that are running:
First appeared on Adweek.