New Heinz Ketchup Ad Is Taken From ‘Mad Men’ Episode

If the new Heinz ketchup ads look familiar to you, it might be because you’ve already seen them on the AMC TV series Mad Men. In one episode of Man Men, Don Draper and company pitched the very same ad campaign to the Heinz company in a fictional storyline and lost the job. However, with the help of the creative agency David, Heinz has had a change of heart, reports Advertising Age magazine.

The three print ads feature close-up views of French fries, a cheeseburger, and a steak with a only little line of text that reads, “Pass the Heinz” which are almost identical to the ones the John Hamm’s character pitched in that 2013 Mad Men episode. Don Draper is even getting some of the credit. Well, sort of. Actually, it’s Sterling Draper Pryce and David who are given credit for the new campaign.

“What we love about it is that even though Don Draper created the ‘Pass the Heinz’ campaign almost 50 years ago, the communication still really works and resonates today,” jokes Nicole Kulwicki, head of the Heinz brand at Kraft Heinz.

“It’s simple and it’s tantalizingly incomplete,” says Draper about the campaign in the TV show. “What’s missing? One thing. Pass the Heinz.”

When the ad executive says, “You mean, pass the Heinz ketchup,” Don replies, “It’s Heinz. It only means one thing.”

David team members rewatched the episode and felt that the campaign had some merit.

“The creative execution itself and what we love about it is that it really doesn’t require paragraphs of copy to explain it,” said Ms. Kulwicki. “Really all that’s missing is the Heinz.”

Henry John Heinz founded the company in 1869, but its ketchup didn’t begin to roll out until 1871. It has been the number one brand ever since. Helping to keep the No. 1 spot is marketing. In 1896, Mr. Heinz came up with the slogan, “57 Varieties.” According to Heinz’s website, he saw an ad for “21 styles of shoes” and was inspired to use the “lucky number” of 57 in his advertising even though the company offered over 60 products at the time. Today, Heinz has more than 5,700 products, but it is still known for “57 Varieties.”

Heinz products

In 1869, Heinz wanted customers to see the “purity and the quality” in every product, so it began packaging its products in glass bottles. Nineteen years after Heinz ketchup arrived on store shelves, the company created its iconic octagonal-shaped glass bottle. Other marketing campaigns that worked over the years include the following.

    • In 1968, the brand introduced foil ketchup packets for fast food restaurants.
    • The 32-ounce bottle was created in 1970.
    • In 1975, the iconic “Anticipation” TV commercial was aired for the first time.
    • In 1983, many of the company’s glass bottles were switched to plastic.
    • Heinz created green ketchup in 2000. Today, the only color of ketchup is red.
    • The upside-down Heinz bottle was created in 2002.
    • In 2011 Heinz introduced a limited edition of ketchup made with balsamic vinegar.
    • In 2012 the company came up with another limited edition flavor made with jalapeno peppers.


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One question the Heinz company gets asked about the most is how to get the ketchup out of the glass bottle.

“To release Ketchup faster from the glass bottle, apply a firm tap to the sweet spot on the neck of the bottle – the ’57.’ Very few people know this secret. Now you’re ‘in-the-know,’” says the company.

[Featured Image by Gene J. Puskar/AP Images]