This ‘Mad Men’ Pitch for Ketchup Is Being Turned Into a Real-Life Ad Campaign

Mar 14, 2017

Heinz is bringing a controversial ad campaign pitched by Don Draper to a team of Heinz execs on Mad Men to life, 50 years after the fictional meeting took place.

In the season six episode, Draper, portrayed by Jon Hamm, pitched a series of ads for Heinz's tomato ketchup that remarkably did not show the product, each with the tagline: 'Pass the Heinz.'

"The greatest thing you have working for you is not the photo you take or the picture you paint, it's the imagination of the consumer," Draper explained to the execs. "They have no budget, they have no time limit, and if you can get in that space you can run it all day."

Now half a century after the episode was set, Heinz is running the ad campaign. It includes close-up images of fries, a cheeseburger and a steak—all foods which are paired well with ketchup—without a bottle of the red condiment in sight, Adweek reports.

“Even though Don Draper created the ‘Pass the Heinz’ campaign almost 50 years ago, the communications still really work in today’s world,” Nicole Kulwicki, head of the Heinz brand, told Adweek. “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.”

The ads will be displayed on three billboards and are being officially credited to both Heinz's current agency, David Miami, and to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, Draper's fictional firm.

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