Welcome back folks! It’s been an interesting week so far, what with the 1-year anniversary of MakeSandcastlesNotWar and the recent post about the ‘medical-grade’ cannabis the government has been studying with (you know, that mutated bird shit covered with stems and dirt!). We’re done gagging over that god-awful cannabis, so now it’s time to shift gears to something more appetizing…and it originated from an award-winning TV series about advertising!
On the sixth season of Mad Men, Don Draper was asked to generate ideas for Heinz’s new advertising campaign. The concept was simple: three different pictures of food products with the slogan ‘Pass the Heinz’ hovering over the food. Heinz representatives disliked the idea because the Heinz ketchup bottle wasn’t featured in the images. In Don’s perspective, he believed that the ads were “clean, simple, and incomplete” and that the consumer would immediately know what was missing — the ketchup. Nevertheless, Heinz shot down the idea and decided to move along with another concept.
While Mad Men was just a periodical fiction drama TV series, some of their storyline is based off of real advertisements from the 60s-70s (like the Coca-Cola song on the series finale, for example!). Some advertising ideas took off while others were set on the shelf for another time. While it’s been almost 50 years since Don Draper pitched that idea, Heinz decided to take it off the shelf for their next advertising campaign.
Heinz decided to greenlight Don Draper’s ad idea, running almost exactly as he intended. This ad campaign is partly a PR stunt and partly just on-brand communications that will surely delight fans of Mad Men. AMC’s most popular periodic drama is celebrating its 10th year anniversary on July. As a bonus, the ads will be credited to Heinz’s current agency David Miami as well as Don’s fictional firm Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. It’s a classic ad idea that couldn’t be any relevant than today.
I thought it was SO cool to hear that one of Don Draper’s ideas will become a REAL advertising idea for Heinz! I loved Mad Men when I binged-watch the series a few years ago and always rooted for Don Draper each episode. Don was one of the most creative characters I ever had the pleasure of watching. Coming from such a broken background, he came up with some really creative advertisements and he explained the premise behind each one. Advertising may not be my biggest passion, but I truly enjoyed seeing what the advertising world was like.
This is a win-win scenario for advertising as well as public relations. Mad Men was one of the most popular series on AMC and what better way to celebrate its upcoming 10-year anniversary than featuring Don’s original pitch to Heinz. It’s interesting how television can spur up intriguing ideas that we would have never drawn up until we actually watch the series. Sometimes the most creative concepts can be seen from our very own television sets.
Kudos to Don Draper for his pitch to Heinz over 50 years ago! This campaign will give him the credit he deserved for the idea. Who knows what other classic ideas will be pulled off the shelf to use in the future. For right now, let’s enjoy Heinz’s newest ad campaign that was originally pitched by Don Draper!