Nicole Kulwicki, head of the Heinz brand, said, “Even though Don Draper created the ‘Pass the Heinz’ campaign almost 50 years ago, the communications still really work in today’s world. 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.”
In the Mad Men episode, “To Have and to Hold” (from season 6, which aired in 2013), the Heinz clients balk, clearly uncomfortable with Don’s unconventional idea, with one of them calling it “half an ad.” “They even said, ‘I want to see the bottle. I want to see the product,’” Ramos said. “And Don says, well, you don’t need to show the product, because the consumer will complete the thought. The product will be in their imagination, which is even more powerful.”
And while the media buy is limited, Kulwicki said this isn’t just a gag for Mad Men fans.
“You can be walking by the billboard and it’s still very powerful, even if you don’t understand the Mad Men connection,” she says. “Of course, we would love Mad Men fans to pick up on it, but we feel it works very well on its own, too.”
Despite not signing off on it ’50 years ago’, Heinz has put it into play, even giving Draper, fictional ad agency Sterling Cooper Draper-Pryce and show creator Matthew Weiner campaign credits (below)
Better late than never for that client approval.