micronotes: On Heinz and Ad Placement
Fifty years ago, in the fictional world of Mad Men, Don Draper pitched a daring ad campaign to Heinz execs, for the brand’s ketchup, that proposed not showing the product at all. Instead, the ads would show close-ups of foods that go great with ketchup—french fries, a cheeseburger, a slice of steak—but without any ketchup in sight. Don’s proposed tagline: “Pass the Heinz.”
Apple’s marketing in the late 90s-mid 2000s was similarly based on this, to associate the brand with a desired object or lifestyle. Replace the burger with Picasso and slap an Apple on the picture and you got an ad going. But I do enjoy that it’s “clever” as it’s an attempt to make Heinz the monolithic term that Nintendo had over consoles for decades.
However, I’m ambivalent about the huge space that bought for the french fries ad. I have a feeling that the “Pass the Heinz” line should be closer to the eyeline of the viewer. Even the photo shows that viewing the ad from such a distance makes the line hard to see.
Counter-argument: The french fries demand to be seen with the white background and train the eye upward toward the line (this still may not reconcile the text’s “shy” demeanor).
Over analyzing is fun!