Advertising, Positioning, Branding – It’s all about creating the “advantage” of your brand versus your competitor. Where Theory Meets Practice is starting a new weekly blog feature called The ADVantage. The ADVantage blog posts will be primarily focused on reviewing all sorts of product advertisements. Good ads, bad ads, old and new ads, some print, some TV commercials, and even some gorilla.

I’m a firm believer that a good ad can, will, and should lead to a purchase. But, more often than not, ads can lack a quality purpose. This is a shame because these creative, clever masterpieces are such a joy to watch and see.

I’ll be grading the ads at the end of each review, based on the same criteria in previous posts. Here’s a quick reminder:

1. Relevance– Is the commercial relevant to the product/service being portrayed?

2. Connection– Does the commercial effectively make you feel the way it’s intended to? (Example: ASPCA commercials)

3. Effectiveness– Is this a quality commercial that makes you want this product/service?

To start off this series, I couldn’t resist reviewing “Pass the Heinz.” 4 years ago, in an episode of the hit TV show Mad Men, the Don Draper character pitched an idea to the executives of Heinz Ketchup. And just this past week, Heinz is actually using Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s idea for a real-life campaign.

This print ad series is super simple and straight to the point. As Mr. Draper said during his pitch, “It’s Heinz. It only means one thing.” So, stop making Mustard, Heinz, stick to Ketchup.

Due to the time period in which Mad Men takes place, the burger, fries, and steak featured in the spots, all look old school – taken with film cameras, not digital. This adds a bit of character to the ads and gives it a classic vibe. All that’s missing is that side of Heinz Ketchup on the plate or utensil. Clearly, that would make the meal drastically better. Next time you go to the grocery store, though, you’ll be more inclined to grab that bottle of Heinz, right?

The copy is very clever, and straight to the point. I can vividly paint a picture of someone passing me Heinz to put on my burger. It connects with the brand and the message it’s trying to portray.


The agency behind this, David, is sharing the credit with Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce for its newest Heinz campaign. The only difference in the ads from the show and reality, is the copy font.

You can view these ads on billboards across New York. The official locations are 7th Ave at 49th Street, 10th Ave, 29th Street, near the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, and at 23rd St. and the Highline. All three print ads will be featured in the New York Post, and the “Fries” piece will even make it to Variety magazine. The campaign will also be promoted on social media.


Grade: B

These print ads are clever and easily resonate with you. It’s nothing extraordinary, but it definitely gets its message and positioning across. Can’t complain about that.

The next ad I will be reviewing for The ADVantage will be State Farm’s latest commercial, Neighborhood of Good.

By: Alex Simonoff