Don Draper’s pitch was rejected by the company in an episode of the AMC drama.

By Adam Campbell-Schmitt
March 14, 2017
© AMC Press / Mad Men

“Pass the Heinz.”

“You mean ‘the Heinz Ketchup.’”

“It’s Heinz. It only means one thing.”

That was the premise behind fictional ad man Don Draper’s “tantalizingly incomplete” campaign which featured photos of naked fries, a burger and a steak (ketchup on a steak?), a campaign that the Heinz company rejected in the sixth season of the AMC series Mad Men.

But nearly 50 years after Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce tried to land the ketchup-making client by pitching the minimalist concept, Heinz has had a change of heart. According to AdWeek, Heinz’s actual advertising firm David Miami will be running the series of three ads in the New York Post and Variety, and in billboard form around New York City beginning today. The campaign will, of course, be co-credited to the nonexistent SCDP agency as well. Heinz’s stunt coincides with the tenth anniversary of the premiere of Mad Men which first aired in July of 2007.

© Heinz Press

Recreating the seemingly simple photos took some doing as well, “We didn’t have the files, so we had to do a photo shoot,” David Miami’s chief creative officer Anselmo Ramos told AdWeek. “It needed to look exactly the same, and that was a beautiful challenge.”

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

It seems whether you date the pitch to the 1968-set episode, or when it aired in 2013, it’s clear that Don Draper was ahead of his time.