The Real Heinz Just Bought Don Draper's Failed Ketchup Pitch
The fact that he’s an imaginary character has not stopped Don Draper from achieving success more than 50 years after his creative peak. Draper—the polished, emotionally broken ad man examined in seven seasons of the AMC series Mad Men—is being “credited” with a bold new Heinz Ketchup campaign, the same one he unsuccessfully pitched to the company in a season six episode back in 2013.
The print spots are a collaboration between (real) Heinz ad agency DAVID Miami, AMC, and Mad Men creator Matt Weiner. In the show, Draper pitched the tomato paste czars on a series of photos that didn’t feature their product at all. Instead, they’d be images of the food consumers would slather in ketchup. “Pass the Heinz” would be the recurring tagline.
Heinz’s fictional counterparts didn’t like it then. They like it more now, since the in-joke is likely to appeal to Mad Men fans preparing to celebrate the show’s 10th anniversary later this year. In a press release, DAVID Miami even credits Draper and Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, the show’s ad house. You can find the ads in the New York Post, Variety, and a trio of billboards appearing in New York City.