Pass the Heinz
March 25, 2017 7:22 AM   Subscribe

 
Foul calumny this is! Seriously, have they no shame? They should hide their heads. TOTAL disconnect with reality. This is a campaign that justifies every bit of hatred every comedian has ever joked about sending marketing's way. They are so out of touch with the way humanity works it makes me believe in the so-called "lizard people".

I did NOT log on to Metafilter to see such a nauseating and horrifying thing as this today. The mods should be fired for letting this post remain.

Ketchup? On steak?
posted by Samizdata at 7:31 AM on March 25, 2017 [57 favorites]


It was the 60's. Terrible things happened then.
posted by yhbc at 7:38 AM on March 25, 2017 [11 favorites]


At some point we stopped saying "Pepsi Blue" about this kind of thing often enough.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:46 AM on March 25, 2017 [12 favorites]


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!
posted by aleksalhambra at 7:49 AM on March 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


This really jibes with the Mad Men season finale, where the Heinz executive wakes up and it turns out the whole show was just a dream.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:50 AM on March 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Is the ketchup on steak add going to be running at dinner time on Fox News?
posted by codacorolla at 7:52 AM on March 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


Don't Overthink it.

[PICTURE OF BEANS]
posted by leotrotsky at 7:54 AM on March 25, 2017 [16 favorites]


Even the photo shows that viewing the ad from such a distance makes the line hard to see.

Yeah but at this point they only have to run the ads for like a week anyway, in order to give truth to the "we're doing the thing from Mad Men" angle, which is obviously doing most of the heavy PR lifting here.
posted by Mike Smith at 7:55 AM on March 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Because my lunkhead boyfriend Stan Rizzo doesn't get art director credit, this is invalid.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 7:56 AM on March 25, 2017 [11 favorites]


...in order to give truth to the "we're doing the thing from Mad Men" angle, which is obviously doing most of the heavy PR lifting here.

Good point, the ad is more about tapping into the free publicity of its reference to Mad Men than about actual execution.
posted by aleksalhambra at 7:58 AM on March 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


I did NOT log on to Metafilter to see such a nauseating and horrifying thing as this today. The mods should be fired for letting this post remain.

Ketchup? On steak?


It's the best, fantastic. They are by far the best tasting, most flavorful beef you’ve ever had. Truly in a league of their own.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:01 AM on March 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


Ketchup? On steak?

I'm surprised the steak isn't well-done, too

Ill be quiet now. Don't want to get sent to the re-education camps.
posted by TedW at 8:10 AM on March 25, 2017


Ketchup? On steak?

I'm surprised the steak isn't well-done, too

Ill be quiet now. Don't want to get sent to the re-education camps.


I dig the joke, I totally do, but since it just says "Pass the Heinz" it's likely referring to Heinz 57. /buzzkill
posted by dis_integration at 8:15 AM on March 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Ketchup? On steak?

A few weeks ago I was having dinner with my parents and two of their closest friends. They invited their son and so my parents invited me. I do not know this other guy very well, but dinner is dinner and polite conversation ensues. We both ordered steaks. I ordered medium rare. He ordered well done.

When our steaks were presented to us, he asked the waitress for some ketchup. And she paused. Looked at me. I looked at her with sadness in my eyes. She recognized my sadness, nodded to me. She sighed ever so slightly, just small enough that I noticed, and went to get this heathen his fucking ketchup.

*sighs*
posted by Fizz at 8:25 AM on March 25, 2017 [32 favorites]


I'd love to see Don pitch the Pace Picante Sauce commercial. "So the cowboys all say in unison, 'New York City?' and then one says 'Get a rope.' Because they're going to hang the chef until he is dead. It's all in the viewer's imagination, which is very powerful."
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:26 AM on March 25, 2017 [21 favorites]


The Heinz is just an "association" spot. That is, show products or emotional appeals to things people like with your product. "Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet!" Heinz wants a mental association with any of the products shown.

I have always wondered: do scenes like this ever really happen at Madison Avenue? I mean, the "pitch" with a bunch of suits in opulent offices with incredible views of NYC? That seems to be a common fantasy theme in movies and TV shows (going back to the "Bewitched" tv show and others).

I can't even imagine the pitch for stuff like that Audi commercial that is running in the NCAA tournament (over and over and over): "See this super competent guy is driving down the road in his Audi, sees a rodeo, drives right in to the arena, gets out of the car and makes a bull everyone is scared of kneel, impresses all the cowboys, then drives away..." "Right! Lets spend $100M on that one!" ::high fives and much nodding and smiling::

Was that originally a pitch for some giant 4WD truck intimidating the big bull and impressing the cowboys? That kinda makes sense in this culture. But Audi?!?
posted by CrowGoat at 8:29 AM on March 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


I did NOT log on to Metafilter to see such a nauseating and horrifying thing as this today. The mods should be fired for letting this post remain.

Ketchup? On steak?


At least it wasn't ketchup on a hot dog, am I right?
posted by gyc at 8:48 AM on March 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


I dunno. The ad made me want to see a bottle of ketchup when I saw it, and it was still the morning. Guess it worked?

There was once a time where I was at a restaurant with a large group of friends and friends of friends, and I came to be seated across from a young man I didn't know, but who I soon learned was just put in charge of the advertising for Heinz Homestyle Gravy.

Now as an even younger person then I have to admit that I was predisposed to expect someone in that line of work, in this context, to either perform a forced cool-kid cynicism about their job or to have what I'd learned from TV was a stereotypical huckster's personality.

Instead, this gentle fellow was so sincere and earnest in his appreciation of H.H.G. and its many notable attributes as a product (comes in a glass jar, not a can! etc.) that I was enchanted in spite of myself. We discussed his product for maybe twenty minutes, touching also on various other topics in the world of industrially-produced heavy sauces. The spell only broke few hours later that July evening, in an aisle at the Giant Eagle, jar in hand, shaking my head in surprise and bewilderment: "Huh... wait a minute, what? I don't need gravy..."
posted by tss at 9:25 AM on March 25, 2017 [7 favorites]


I have always wondered: do scenes like this ever really happen at Madison Avenue? I mean, the "pitch" with a bunch of suits in opulent offices with incredible views of NYC?


I can tell you for a fact that the views of NYC (or sometimes Chicago) are incredible, although very few people are wearing suits these days.


On the other hand, the pitch process is often less like Mad Men, and more like the Witness Protection people trying to explain Homer Simpson's new identity to him.

"When I say 'Hello, Mr. Thompson,' and press down on your foot, you smile and nod."

"No problem."

"HELLO, MR. THOMPSON!" *stomp, stomp*

"I think he's talking to you..."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:31 AM on March 25, 2017 [6 favorites]




Red sauce is all the same anyway.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:35 AM on March 25, 2017


At some point we stopped saying "Pepsi Blue" about this kind of thing often enough.

Heinz Blue.
posted by straight at 9:37 AM on March 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Being a despiser of ketchup my brain turns these into "Pass on the Heinz". Don't very often have fries but I'll pass on those in the ad, they look like they were cooked days ago.

I can't even imagine the pitch for stuff like that Audi commercial

For me one of the ads I can't imagine the pitch for was a Volkswagen ad a decade or so ago which basically had a guy spending lots of energy diving and running around to protect his car from being dinged by shopping carts to show, I suppose, how much he loved his VW. I took it as an ad that says, very clearly and proudly that VW customers are the assholes who park their VWs, not in a parking spot at the grocery store, but right in front of the grocery store.
posted by juiceCake at 9:42 AM on March 25, 2017


The steak one horrifies me too, but in their defense, Lea & Perrins is technically Heinz these days.

There is a Heinz-branded steak sauce as well of course but ... well.
posted by notquitemaryann at 9:54 AM on March 25, 2017


CrowGoat: I can't even imagine the pitch for stuff like that Audi commercial that is running in the NCAA tournament (over and over and over): "See this super competent guy is driving down the road in his Audi, sees a rodeo, drives right in to the arena, gets out of the car and makes a bull everyone is scared of kneel, impresses all the cowboys, then drives away..." "Right! Lets spend $100M on that one!" ::high fives and much nodding and smiling::

Was that originally a pitch for some giant 4WD truck intimidating the big bull and impressing the cowboys? That kinda makes sense in this culture. But Audi?!?


Guys who drive giant 4WD trucks know that it's the clown who makes the bull bow down. Not sure what that says about Audi drivers.
posted by clawsoon at 10:07 AM on March 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Each of those food ideas goes better without Heinz.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:29 AM on March 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Now looking forward to other Mad Men inspired ad campaigns:
[SPOILERS, but context removed]
Jaguar: Suicide is not possible!
Chevy: Our executives will (accidentally) try to kill you!
Hershey's: Its own reward*
*if you get more than a dollar from the john's pockets.
posted by dannyboybell at 10:38 AM on March 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


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.

This predates Apple quite a bit, to the mad men 50/60s era actually :). The whole underlying theme of Mad Men the show is this radical change in advertising (borrowing from innovations in psychology / metrics / etc.) vs the radical changes going on in society (gender, race, the Vietnam war, etc.).

Did you know Marlboro was originally a women's brand? Filtered cigarettes were for dainty women back in the day, but it gets hard to sell unfiltered cigarettes if all these pesky scientists are saying your product kills people. So what's the point of spending billions of dollars to publish photographs (I don't need to link one, you already know it) of a silhouetted cowboy riding a horse against a western sunset, no cigarette in sight? Because it works.
posted by bradbane at 11:36 AM on March 25, 2017


I preferred Peggy's pitch.
posted by 4ster at 11:36 AM on March 25, 2017 [6 favorites]


This really jibes with the Mad Men season finale, where the Heinz executive wakes up and it turns out the whole show was just a dream.

I have mixed feelings about the ad campaign's origin, and I am not sure I follow RobotVoodooPower's joke here, but I gave it a favorite for using "jibes" instead of "jives."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:55 AM on March 25, 2017


Now I'll be thinking about ketchup all day!
posted by chavenet at 12:18 PM on March 25, 2017


Wait, look. Isn't there already ketchup on the burger?
posted by leotrotsky at 12:18 PM on March 25, 2017




Ketchup? On steak?
...but since it just says "Pass the Heinz" it's likely referring to Heinz 57


And if you go far enough back "Heinz 57" steak sauce was #1 in its category before Heinz Ketchup, but fell behind A-1, a product of Kraft. Guess which two giant foodcorporations recently merged...

Also, Heinz has brought out its own brand of yellow mustard, that not only comes in plastic squeeze bottles identical to Heinz ketchup's, but is currently being promoted by "buy the ketchup, get the mustard free" coupons, so pictures of hot dogs with "Pass the Heinz" may be inevitable. Although those may require more context.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:39 PM on March 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


leotrotsky: "I did NOT log on to Metafilter to see such a nauseating and horrifying thing as this today. The mods should be fired for letting this post remain.

Ketchup? On steak?


It's the best, fantastic. They are by far the best tasting, most flavorful beef you’ve ever had. Truly in a league of their own.
"

TedW: "Ketchup? On steak?

I'm surprised the steak isn't well-done, too

Ill be quiet now. Don't want to get sent to the re-education camps.
"

Well, thanks to you two and your inexorable wrongness, a wrongness that will go down in history as the most misguided wrongitude mankind will ever have the pitiable misfortune to witness, I will never be able to look at a steak the same way again.

I hope your egos can handle the blow they have just recieved, due to your terrifying incorrectness. Re-education camps are too good for you. In fact, you two are nothing but low-down, double-dealing, backstabbing, larcenous perverted worms! Hanging's too good for both of you. Burning's too good for you two! You both should be torn into little bitsy pieces and buried alive!
posted by Samizdata at 1:55 PM on March 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


gyc: "I did NOT log on to Metafilter to see such a nauseating and horrifying thing as this today. The mods should be fired for letting this post remain.

Ketchup? On steak?


At least it wasn't ketchup on a hot dog, am I right?
"

Nope. Ketchup on hot dogs is okay, as part of a palette of exciting condiment flavors.
posted by Samizdata at 1:57 PM on March 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


oneswellfoop: "Ketchup? On steak?
...but since it just says "Pass the Heinz" it's likely referring to Heinz 57


And if you go far enough back "Heinz 57" steak sauce was #1 in its category before Heinz Ketchup, but fell behind A-1, a product of Kraft. Guess which two giant foodcorporations recently merged...

Also, Heinz has brought out its own brand of yellow mustard, that not only comes in plastic squeeze bottles identical to Heinz ketchup's, but is currently being promoted by "buy the ketchup, get the mustard free" coupons, so pictures of hot dogs with "Pass the Heinz" may be inevitable. Although those may require more context.
"

And A-1 was originally intended to be a ketchup alternative, but had to be reformulated when it moved from a metal to a glass container, as people complained it didn't taste right.
posted by Samizdata at 2:00 PM on March 25, 2017


They did this already in the UK.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:14 PM on March 25, 2017


And A-1 was originally intended to be a ketchup alternative, but had to be reformulated when it moved from a metal to a glass container, as people complained it didn't taste right.

Now that's pretty interesting. I assume that A-1, with tomatoes and vinegar as its first two ingredients (Yes, I have a bottle in my fridge. It went out of date a year ago.) leached some metal out of whatever container it was in, resulting in a metallic taste that nowadays would be objectionable. This is the sort of thing that makes a great long-form story.
posted by TedW at 2:17 PM on March 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


TedW: "And A-1 was originally intended to be a ketchup alternative, but had to be reformulated when it moved from a metal to a glass container, as people complained it didn't taste right.

Now that's pretty interesting. I assume that A-1, with tomatoes and vinegar as its first two ingredients (Yes, I have a bottle in my fridge. It went out of date a year ago.) leached some metal out of whatever container it was in, resulting in a metallic taste that nowadays would be objectionable. This is the sort of thing that makes a great long-form story.
"

And that leaching is EXACTLY why it didn't taste right. See what I can come up with later after a nap. Not much sleep and a very busy shift at my volunteer thing. Tired. Can only make funnies, not seriouses.
posted by Samizdata at 2:48 PM on March 25, 2017


Okay, maybe some weirds too.
posted by Samizdata at 2:49 PM on March 25, 2017


At least it wasn't ketchup on a hot dog, am I right?"

Considering we're talking ground up snouts and anuses, ketchup really isn't the worse thing going on there.
posted by MikeKD at 4:54 PM on March 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


I just want to say that my Pittsburgh-area great-great-grand-uncle grew vegetables for Mr. Heinz when his company was starting out. Big point of family pride. Also, anyone growing up in Pittsburgh during the early half of the 20th century went on at least one Heinz field trip, the culmination of which was the presentation of free pickle pins. There was a pickle whistle for a while, too.

More importantly, Heinz now makes a (hard-to-find) Balsamic Vinegar ketchup which is divine. Still not for steak though.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:23 PM on March 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Also, Heinz has brought out its own brand of yellow mustard, that not only comes in plastic squeeze bottles identical to Heinz ketchup's, but is currently being promoted by "buy the ketchup, get the mustard free" coupons

Of course, in Canada, the whole thing's flip-flopped.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:52 PM on March 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


And A-1 was originally intended to be a ketchup alternative, but had to be reformulated when it moved from a metal to a glass container, as people complained it didn't taste right.

When I was in the UK, the taste and consistency of HP Brown Sauce really reminded me of A-1. Went well with the Cornish pasty.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 6:20 PM on March 25, 2017


So basically we're one step closer to a world where my "It's not a sandwich until you Poupon it!" mustard campaign can become a reality?
posted by snofoam at 6:34 PM on March 25, 2017 [9 favorites]


I like catsup on steak, and I cannot lie. Well, not on filet mignon, of course. But on any lesser cut of meat, catsup truly brings out the flavor of the beef.
posted by bryon at 8:48 PM on March 25, 2017


If you are fed shitty, overcooked steak, ketchup makes sense. I would probably be a ketchup-on-steak person were it not for my college roommates who shamed me into trying it rare, which was (no hyperbole) a revelation.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:51 PM on March 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


Wait, maybe Trump thinks "well done" means "done (cooked) well" and he's ordering "the best cooked steak". Presumably he's mystified why people order steak of medium quality.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:11 AM on March 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


Wait, maybe Trump thinks "well done" means "done (cooked) well" and he's ordering "the best cooked steak". Presumably he's mystified why people order steak of medium quality.

Rare > Well Done though, right?
posted by mikelieman at 1:52 AM on March 26, 2017


I think the pitch meeting for this idea was like that episode where Peggy and Don spend an all-nighter and Don gets super drunk and throws up and they have like 0 ideas; then at the end of the night the modern-day pitch people are like ".....what about that episode of Mad Men?"
posted by bleep at 3:26 AM on March 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Small aside: back in the dim recesses of time, long before your internets, your tv's, your radios, etc. Heinz sort of invented the commercial. In the late 1800's, early 1900's, Heinz would hire barbershop quartets to walk from bar to bar, wander in and sing the following:

Heinz, Heinz, what's the matter with Heinz?
He's been to 57 bars, and Heinz is pickled again.
posted by Chitownfats at 4:09 AM on March 26, 2017


"If you are fed shitty, overcooked steak, ketchup makes sense."

This. Imagine, if you will, you are raised in a very, very poor family, with a father who literally only willingly eats steak and potatoes. You have steak for dinner at least 3 times a week. Your mother can only afford the least expensive cuts of meat possible that a butcher could work up his nerve enough to label "steak". Further, your father's taste forces your dear mother to char these humble cow muscle slices into blackened slabs. Then, then, my friend, you will paraphrase the lament of the late poet and philosopher Jim Morrison and sing, "Ketchup is your only friend, dance on fire until the end ..."
posted by Chitownfats at 4:31 AM on March 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


Honestly, the most interesting thing about this article to me is how they consistently refer to Draper as a real person, despite calling his agency "fictional."
posted by anastasiav at 7:18 AM on March 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Then they're gonna make the Hershey spot where he tells the story about growing up in a whorehouse and going through the john's pockets and splitting what he stole with the girl and he take his dime and buys a Hershey bar.
posted by fixedgear at 2:34 PM on March 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Don't Overthink it.

[PICTURE OF BEANS]


[PICTURE OF MAGIC OVERTHOUGHT BEANS]

(Wait, was I supposed to watch an ad or something?)
posted by saulgoodman at 7:02 PM on March 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Firstly, if you are putting ketchup on any steak thing other than BBQ-carbonised puckeys of steak-analogue - and, really, you should be using BBQ sauce - then you basically don't deserve to eat. A hot dog would have been a far better image.

Secondly, Heinz have utterly botched the execution by making "PASS THE HEINZ" all uppercase - "Pass the HEINZ" had way more impact.

Thirdly, I hope the person in the Mad Men writer's room who came up with this idea gets their commission, because it's a great idea.
posted by turbid dahlia at 10:16 PM on March 26, 2017 [1 favorite]




*57 Varieties' intensifies*
posted by turbid dahlia at 10:19 PM on March 26, 2017


ALSO THAT BURGER ALREADY HAS KETCHUP ON IT. AT BOTH ENDS.

It does! I am confused.
posted by knownassociate at 6:53 AM on March 27, 2017


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