The marriage of Advertising & PR

Heinz launches campaign from fictional Mad Men series

The pocket team was always mesmerized by AMC’s Mad Men when it was on the air. The show’s perspective took what we do everyday, solve challenges for clients, with romanticized strategy and nailed it. Say what you will about the characters in the show, but the work and the dedication to work was a driving force at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. It made all of us in the industry think harder on our strategy work.

With each new business pitch, we still watch the final scene of the first season, when Don pitched Kodak.  In this scene, he does everything we as advertisers try to inspire our potential customers. He’s passionate and relatable, weaving in his personal experiences just as he expects the consumer would. As a positioning tactic, Don Draper, in a well written script, delivers the ultimate “what is in it for me” for the consumer. (It’s worth watching again.) Boom, there he created the sentimental demand to bring the carousel back home again.

But enough about Don…or is it?

Kudos to the Heinz team and their agency, David, in reaching beyond just another ad campaign with limited reach. First, when talking with our clients, brand, the right tone, voice and logo are all must haves for any campaign we execute – be it digital, in-store POP, print, video or social. It is a huge risk, albeit one that should be taken more often, to advertise without your brand front and center. By tying into the PR aspect of this campaign, all consumers will know the brand. Why? Because Don Draper explained it to us already.

The strategy to make their advertising dollars reach farther through PR deserves recognition as well. The campaign gives its nod to the fictional team that came up with it. This makes the PR almost more valuable than the media buy. The PR strategy of promoting the “Don Draper” executed campaign leverages the nostalgia and fan base of the show. We appreciate the wit that both the agency and Heinz use when giving praise to the pitch of “nearly 50 years ago.”

This strategy delivers on all counts…great execution combined with unique storytelling to make it really break though the clutter. Without the tie-in to Mad Men, would we be talking about another ketchup campaign?

Are you looking to take a risk with your brand? Is your strategy not solving your challenges? Do you execute because that is how you are used to doing it? Maybe you need a new team in your pocket.

Posted on March 15, 2017 in Brand, Digital Marketing

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