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Posted on 05.21.2015

Where Truth and Fiction Collide

Spoiler alert – if you haven’t yet watched the Mad Men finale, turn away!

Whether you loved and will miss the AMC series Mad Men or not, the last episode’s final scene deserves noting and admiration as big-idea ad man Don Draper smiles to himself, struck with sudden inspiration that segues into Coke’s "Hilltop" commercial, considered one of the most iconic ads ever produced. Share a Coke Mad Men

Where truth and fiction merge and separate is tricky. Mad Men’s Don Draper, a fictional character at McCann Erickson (a real agency), is not Bill Backer, the real McCann Erickson creative director on the Coca-Cola account in the early 1970s who conceived the ad’s concept. But it was a brilliant finale.

And it was a wonderful opportunity for Coca-Cola and McCann Erickson, both of which took to social media platforms to parlay the Mad Men finale into engagement for their brands.

Coke’s May 18 blog about the episode takes the opportunity to share the full story behind the classic ad and weaves in a reference to its current “Share a Coke” personalized bottle campaign.

And both organizations tweeted about the show with messages retweeted thousands of times by their tens of thousands of respective followers.

@McCann said, “Thanks, Don. About time you came up with a good idea” and @CocaCola noted, “A bright idea indeed, Don. Thanks for thinking of us.”

What I found even more interesting as I read about “the real thing’s” 1971 ad was this second article from the Coke blog that recounts a 2012 project to bring “Hilltop” into the digital era. (Kudos to Coke editor-in-chief Jay Moye and his blog team!) The project “literally let consumers ‘buy the world a Coke’ from their computer or smartphone, and connect with others across the world through the magic of Google’s display ad platform and specially engineered vending machines,” the blog states.

I found all the blogs referenced in this story a delight to read and recommend them to Mad Men aficionados and Coke-aholics alike. They remind us of the power of good story telling, great ads and innovative ways to engage your followers. Just like Don Draper would have done it.

What’s been stirring your creative juices this week?

*Image from Coke’s Unbottled blog post, May 18, 2015


Dana Coleman is a Vice President at Lovell Communications. You can view more of Dana’s blogs here. Connect with Dana at Dana@lovell.com or @lovelldc

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