If by any chance you are a fan of Mad Men TV series that features the lives of bad ass marketing and advertising Madison Avenue Gods Don Draper and his agency crew, you probably remember that not always did Draper win a pitch. One of those ones that they lost was with Heinz when Draper proposed them a campaign which shows no product at all. Yes, you heard it all good: NO PRODUCT AT ALL.
That’s like disrespecting the basic postulates of advertising: make a plot, stir it up and solve it with your magic product. Big branding. Big logo. Huge packshot. No, make it bigger. Bigger. BIGGER. That’s like a bible for marketers and CEOs: if we invest money in seconds on air, clicks, impressions and magazine covers, then we want to see our brand or it’s money wasted. Or is it?
I remember when I was taking a mind mapping class when I started college, one lecturer draw small lines that resembled the shape of rectangle. He asked us what was that. We all said it was rectangle. But it wasn’t. It was just a bunch of dashes put in specific order and our brains filled up the gaps and saw the rectangle even though it simply wasn’t there. Our brains like to make sense out of “nothing”, they are simply wired that way. That is their primary job: take all the information and mix it up into something meaningful and useful for your owner. They are great, right? Recent studies have shown that brains even interpret information for us while we are actually gathering it. Some experiments have shown that brain actually makes a triangle shape while eyes are watching a blank space that resembles the triangle made out of blank space of cut circles. Sounds familiar to the dashed rectangle? Exactly. Our brains like to be entertained. They like to jump the rope and exercise hard. They like to fill in the gaps and they make sense out of everything.
Look at this video for example:
You must have seen people, train, birds, sea and so on. But the truth is you just saw the outlines and you heard the sounds and your brain did the rest. Your brain has such a great imagination and you should really praise it for that.
So, back to the Heinz and Draper. This fictional character proposed the following visuals:
So, where’s the ketchup? I can only imagine an ordinary ad agency sending these visuals to an ordinary client. They would be pissed. Really pissed. Where’s our product? Where’s the damn ketchup?[Tweet “It’s right in your brain”]
What is so interesting today is that Heinz decided to really launch campaign. And I salute them! Each time a person sees this ad, first, they will look at the tasty food (cause food is more important than fonts) and then read the tag line. The next step in the brains is the visualization of the missing ketchup dripping from the fries and burgers because they simply go together.
What is so great about this tagline is the simplicity. PASS THE HEINZ. Consumers will be saved from regular BS words like top quality, carefully chosen for you, your favorite source of happiness, 100% premium ingredients and blah blah boring lines that we are all so sick of. Simply: Pass the damn ketchup.
No lies, no gibberish, just pass the Heinz.
As simple as that.