Heinz’s Actually Uses Don Draper’s “Mad Men” Pitch in Real Life

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.”

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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.

 

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