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Brandcameo: Mad Men’s Don Draper Meets the Beatles

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 8, 2012 05:55 PM

Cool Whip wasn't the only brand that popped up during Sunday night's Mad Men — a different kind of cool brand, one that whipped fans into a frenzy back in episode 508's day, was also very much in evidence: the Beatles.

It’s been more than four decades since the Fab Four last performed together. Since then, of course, John Lennon was assassinated and George Harrison died of lung cancer. While time has passed and much has changed, the Beatles remain one of the world’s powerhouse brands. One reason why is because those who protect it are still doing so extremely diligently. The band’s songs rarely are heard in any kind of situation other than on the radio or on whatever form of music player consumers prefer.

That changed this past Sunday night when AMC’s Mad Men used the “Tomorrow Never Knows” in an episode that partially chronicled protagonist Don Draper’s attempt to understand the youth culture. As part of his efforts, Draper puts “Revolver” on the stereo and listens to the tune, the last track on the album. Released in 1966, the song marks a bit of turning point musically for the band and era as it showcase the band’s experiments with psychedelia. Lennon used Timothy Leary’s The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead as inspiration for the lyrics.

Draper is befuddled by the song, but Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner wasn’t confused one bit.Continue reading...


As Mad Men Returns, Misty-Eyed Mad Ave is Eager to Reminisce

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 23, 2012 03:03 PM

It’s a good thing Mad Men’s Don Draper lived in the 1960’s, when Madison Avenue executives were thriving and “style, confidence, debauchery, lust and action” defined the job (as the Emmy Award-winning AMC series would have us believe).

Today, of course, it's not quite so swinging: "the job market is pretty rotten. Opportunities are limited. Agencies aren't doing the same kind of hiring they were five years ago, and there's no denying that those closer to 55 are going to have a harder time,” Nancee Martin, director-talent at Omnicom Group's TBWA Worldwide, commented to Ad Age. "In the past, advertising spoke to the audience, now it's more of a conversation. There are a lot of great Don Drapers out there today, and the really great ones are the ones who've learned to add to their game and keep their eye on the prize," observed Robert Manni, president of Agent16, to the Guardian.

Indeed, Ad Age estimates that agencies accounted for 189,700 jobs in pre-recession 2007, but by January 2010, that number was down by 30,000 jobs. As of November 2011, agencies had regained 17,000 jobs, but not the same jobs, and the majority were being filled by younger digital talent. As the fifth season of Mad Men kicks off with a two-hour special on AMC on Sunday night, what is thriving is the marketing of products related to the franchise and the concomitant glamorization of that era.Continue reading...


Does Lincoln's John Slatterly Campaign Evoke Mad Man, Pitch Man or Con Man?

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 30, 2010 04:00 PM

Demographically, it's clear what Lincoln is going for. With an audience that is strong in the 30 to 54 demographic and with half of all viewer households boasting an income of $100,000 a year or more, AMC's hit series Mad Men seems the perfect match for an auto brand that's hungry to get back in the game after years of deteriorated relevence.

These numbers are likely what made Mad Men actor John Slatterly (who plays Sterling Cooper cofounder Roger Sterling) so attactive to Lincoln's marketers. But just like the character and his agency typically burn the candle at both ends, it makes one wonder if Lincoln hasn't been played.Continue reading...


What’s old is cool again: Canadian Club joins the cast of Boardwalk Empire

Posted by Emma Cofer on November 8, 2010 02:00 PM

Canadian Club whisky, or “C.C.” in common parlance, long ago hit skid row. Once a top-shelf liquor choice but long since fallen on hard times, the brand is refreshing its image by turning back the clock. As a major marketing partner of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, C.C. is claiming a piece of the show’s Prohibition-era glamour for itself.
On the show, Canadian Club is the imported liquor of choice, generously product-placed (and heartily imbibed) in the sordid but dazzling crime world of Atlantic City in the early ‘20s. But the deal doesn’t just play out onscreen. You may have noticed real-world liquor stores and wine shops decked out with signage for the show, and several major cities have hosted speakeasy-themed special events to tout the partnership of Boardwalk Empire and C.C.

There’s no doubt that the lure of the forbidden adds a spark to any experience. This is part of the magic of the Prohibition-era setting, when alcohol was sipped surreptitiously. Like many a taboo, this association could add a shot of sparkle to the C.C. brand. Chase it down with the sexy sepia glow of nostalgia for added luster. Now considered a well whiskey rather than a gentleman’s choice, C.C  was both more popular and a classier selection in the ’20s. By associating today’s C.C. with the brand’s glory days, it could climb back towards the top.Continue reading...

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