Ad Campaign of the Week: Pass the Heinz Brings Mad Men Ad to Life

If you were a fan of the popular show Mad Men, then you may be familiar with a fictional ad campaign pitched by Don Draper for Heinz. The campaign “Pass the Heinz” consisted of a series of print ads with large photos of food that didn’t include any ketchup or other condiments and a simple statement: “Pass the Heinz.” And now, Heinz is bringing that fake campaign into the real world. The popular condiment company began running the ads recently with that same simplicity. So how well might they fare with today’s consumers? We asked 1,000 respondents about their buying habits and then tested the ads to see what kind of impact they might have.


Condiment Buyers

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest online survey, 11% of respondents said that they usually purchase condiments a few times a week. 40% buy condiments a few times per month. 30% buy them a few times every three months. 12% buy them a few times per year. Just 2% buy condiments less often than once a year. And 4% aren’t condiment consumers at all.

Pass the Heinz

Overall, 33% of respondents said that they would be certain or practically certain about choosing Heinz the next time they purchase condiments. And 31% said that it would be very probable. Of those who viewed the Heinz ads, 36% said that they would be certain or practically certain about choosing Heinz. And 30% said that it would be very probable.

In addition, 36% of respondents said that they’ve watched Mad Men. And of those respondents, 41% said that they would be certain or practically certain about choosing Heinz the next time they purchase condiments. And 35% said that it would be very probable.

Brand Attributes

In general, people used words like quality, tasty, classic, delicious and traditional to describe the Heinz brand. Those who viewed the Pass the Heinz ads were more likely to associate words like delicious, great and taste with the brand.

Key Takeaways

The Pass the Heinz campaign did seem to have a positive impact on customers as a whole. It was even more effective with those who had watched Mad Men, suggesting that if the brand runs the ads in publications or on websites that are popular with those viewers, it could see better results. However, as Mad Men isn’t on the air anymore, it will require the brand to target those customers using other factors. For example, it could run the ads in publications that target adults in creative professions, with whom Mad Men was particularly popular. It could also potentially benefit from offering some context for the ads, like running the clip in online videos before showing the ad, but that would require a bit of a different format.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Heinz by Mike Mozart under CC BY 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on March 16 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.