David Miami, Heinz Bring Don Draper’s ‘Pass the Heinz’ Pitch to Life

By Erik Oster 

In the season six episode “To Have And To Hold” from AMC’s Mad Men, Don Draper pitched a campaign for Heinz centered around the tagline, “Pass the Heinz,” applied to images of foods that ostensibly go well with ketchup. (We maintain that putting ketchup on steak is a crime against humanity, but some may disagree.)

The client was not impressed, saying it seemed like “half an ad” and complained that the product wasn’t shown.

Now real-life advertising is imitating art. Heinz will run a version of the campaign, credited to its agency David Miami, the fictional Sterling Copper Draper Pryce, the show’s creator, Matthew Wiener, and other writers.

“Even though Don Draper created the ‘Pass the Heinz’ campaign almost 50 years ago, the communications still really work in today’s world,” Heinz brand director Nicole Kulwicki told AdFreak. “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.”
The ads will run in print and OOH executions in New York*, beginning today and look much the same as they did on Mad Men. As it turns out, that was the biggest challenge of the effort.
“We didn’t have the files, so we had to do a photo shoot,” David CCO Anselmo Ramos explained. “It needed to look exactly the same, and that was a beautiful challenge.”


“It’s so simple. Don did a great job,” he added. “This is just 100 percent on-brand positioning. It is about never settling. You look at these beautiful shots of empty fries, or a burger, and there’s something missing. And when you say ‘Pass the Heinz,’ that’s all you need to say. You don’t need to show the product.”

So why stop there? Let’s see Peggy Olson’s pitch brought to life next (40 feet tall, in Times Square).


*Not Argentina.