Heinz knows that Don Draper isn’t real, right?

I love this. Don Draper once pitched a ketchup ad campaign to Heinz on “Mad Men.” The ads basically showed foods like French fries and cheeseburgers under the words “Pass the Heinz.” There was no bottle or ketchup in the images; that was the Big Idea. As Jon Hamm’s Don put it to the Heinz executives in his poetic-ad-man voice, “It’s clean, it’s simple, and it’s tantalizingly incomplete.”

Somehow, the execs resisted Don’s elegant and forward-thinking pitch, which he made in a season six episode in 2013 called “To Have and to Hold.” When Don delivered his magical speeches about human nature, what lures us in, and why, I was always ready to buy. His words about the Kodak Carousel at the end of season one — “It takes us to a place where we ache to go again” — were mesmerizing. Get with it, fictional Heinz.


But wait: Meta-twist! According to Adweek, Heinz has now decided to adopt Draper’s “Pass the Heinz” campaign — to make the fictional ad campaign a real ad campaign. The ads, made solely of photos of foods that beg for ketchup underneath the written slogan, will be appearing in print and outdoors in New York City, as well as in social media.

It’s all pretty cute, don’t you think, the meta-twist and the publicity it will generate. By the way, the ads are being credited to Heinz’s agency, DAVID Miami, as well as to the show’s Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.

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