Heinz Turns to Mad Men’s Don Draper for Real Ad Campaign

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on March 14
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Heinz turns to Mad Men’s Don Draper for Real Ad CampaignMarketScale-B2B-Heinz-Burger.jpg

Today’s conventional wisdom began as yesterday’s radical nonsense. Following an adman’s evolution from the dawn to the dusk of the revolutionary 60s, AMC’s Mad Men had a particular knack for documenting radical shifts in thought over time.  Attuned to the cultural transformations of the era, the show is also savvy to the transformations in marketing.  When it comes to branding, Don Draper, the series “mad” anti-hero, is a visionary—often well beyond the time of his clients, who frequently find his ideas nonsensical. 

Consider, for example, the contemporary marketing imperative to focus on solutions, not products.  Today, the idea is considered a mainstay of effective brand messaging.  Once upon a time, however, the idea seemed absurd.  Mad Men’s season-six episode “To Have and to Hold“ saw Don Draper and Peggy Olson competing for the Heinz account with very different campaigns. While Peggy went with something more product-oriented, Don created ads that had no ketchup bottles in sight, telling the Heinz folks that their name was so inextricably linked to the condiment that consumers would have no trouble conjuring up the missing bottle in their heads. Heinz passes on Draper’s pitch, because Heinz’ Kip Pardue lacks the imagination to understand Draper’s vision.

Yet, according to an article in yesterday’s Advertising Age, the real Heinz has decided to bring Draper’s fictional campaign to life.  So the next time one of your ideas gets rejected, you can take some solace in the fact that, as history reveals over and over again, things change

Watch Draper's pitch, below.


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Topics: advertising, Brand, Thought Leadership, B2B Marketing, B2B Content

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