Heinz Is Using A Mad Men Idea For A Real Ad Campaign

Photo: Justina Mintz/AMC.
Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce just sold an ad campaign — decades after the fact.
If you're a Mad Men fan, you might remember Don Draper (Jon Hamm) coming up with a campaign for Heinz ketchup. Draper's idea involved ads that didn't show the product at all. Instead, the need for ketchup was implied, using photos of foods that could be enhanced with the condiment, like French fries and burgers. The slogan? "Pass the Heinz."
Of course, the ads were a fictional part of the show. But now, Heinz has become so taken with the Mad Men idea that it's creating Draper's ad ideas, for real. The ads will be featured in the New York Post and Variety, as well as on New York City billboards and Heinz's social media.
The campaign is ironic, too — in the show, Draper wasn't successful in selling the proposal.
"Even though Don Draper created the 'Pass the Heinz' campaign almost 50 years ago, the communications still really work in today's world," Heinz brand building director Nicole Kulwicki told Adweek. "Mr. Draper really understood the one thing every Heinz fan knows, which is to never settle for the foods you love without the great taste of Heinz. What we loved about the campaign is that it doesn't require paragraphs of copy to explain it. It features mouthwatering food images, and all that's missing is the Heinz."
Heinz is paying tribute to the show with how it's crediting the ads, too. The credits list Don Draper, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, Sterling Cooper Draper Price, and Heinz's actual ad agency, David Miami, Adweek notes.
There's one part of the new campaign that might anger Americans in today's political climate, though. One of the "Pass the Heinz" ads features a piece of steak — but, luckily, it's not cooked to a well-done level.
Check out Don Draper's original "Pass the Heinz" pitch in the clip below.

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