The Mad Men Advertising of Yesterday & The Internet Marketing of Today

This weekend, I started watching the 3rd season of AMC’s Mad Men.  No television means I have to wait until they release the DVD’s, which I actually prefer because I can watch it without interruption. I believe that watching Mad Men is like getting a lesson in advertising history.

AMC's Mad Men Cast Season 2

The one that started it all… Dyna Moe’s Mad Men Illustration: Sterling-Cooper Christmas Party 2007

Mad Men is brilliantly written and visually accurate in its set and costume design.  One of my favorite scenes is when Don, Betty and the kids are picnicking in the park.  As they are getting ready to leave, Don and Betty simply pick up their checkerboard picnic blanket and toss all of the remnants of their outing onto the grass.  They gather up their things and leave.  Moments before that, Don chucks a beer bottle in the woods.  Oh how times have changed, or should I say, glad we have lost some practices from the good ole days.  Since the show has aired, AMC’s Mad Men has not only become a lesson in advertising history but a lesson in internet marketing for today.

Internet Marketing Strategy and Mad Men

Dyna Moe’s Mad Men Illustration

Online Marketing Strategies for Today

Aside from the sheer entertainment value of the show, I find the ideas and concepts often mimic what marketers talk about today as being crucial for the success of a business.  When Don presents his campaign to the client, he tells a story to pull them in, and that is when he becomes most human.  Building a brand has always been and will always be about engaging the consumer.  The best way to do this is by publishing high quality content, be it written or visual that essentially tells a story.  Content has always been an important tool in marketing and advertising and it continues to be an idea to embrace.  In today’s online market, we have a vast array of means to promote the content we create and this is where AMC’s Mad Men has done a great job.

Online Marketing Strategies for Mad Men

Dyna Moe’s Mad Men Illustration: Joan Paper Doll

The online marketing strategies that have been implemented by AMC’s Mad Men run the gamet.  They have a Facebook fan page, with over 250,000 fans, which provides a platform for fan interaction and participation.  The show has cleverly created Twitter accounts for each of the characters so you can follow their daily Tweets from the swanky bars of New York City to theiroffices at Sterling Cooper.  In addition they have a talk forum and a fantastically rich blog.

Internet Marketing & A Mad Men Illustrator

One of the most unique online marketing strategies came about almost on accident.  Dyna Moe, a freelance illustrator and a friend of one of the cast members, created an illustrated Holiday Card for the AMC’s Mad Men cast.  The illustration received raves reviews from the cast members and Dyna Moe was asked to created illustrations for a cookbook.  Although the cookbook never came to pass, she figured she might as well do something with the illustrations she had created.  She decided to post one a week, and so began her Mad Men internet marketing.  Hits to the site went from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands in just a few months and the site now gets over 1 million unique visitors a year.

AMC's Mad Men Cast

Dyna Moe’s Mad Men Illustration: Nobody’s Sweetheart

Dyna Moe became inspired to continue creating because of the huge amount of attention she was getting from the public.  The social demand became motivational, and the work itself became a social media marketing tool to  promote AMC’s Mad Men.  She even changed the sizing format of her illustrations to accommodate smart phones.  Dyna Moe did all of these illustrations for free.  This is the new world we live in, where the masses determine the value of a product or an idea.  The notion of paying it forward equates to generosity and that lead to the monetization of that idea, product or service.

With the popularity of Dyna Moe’s illustrations, AMC launched Mad Men Yourself which lets you create a Mad Men version of you.  The internet marketing strategy blended the success of Dyna’s illustrations and the viral nature of fan fiction.  AMC knew that most people that can actively engage with a show in the online market are actively watching it on television.  The AMC Mad Men Yourself site has had well over 1 million unique visitors since its launch a little over a year ago.

Dyna Moe Mad Men Illustrations

Dyna Moe’s Illustration: #1.10 Shoot!

I look forward to seeing the Mad Men illustrations Dyna Moe creates for Season 4 and well as learning more about an intriguing and unique era in American advertising.  Perhaps the only thing AMC’s Mad Men is missing out on for their online marketing strategy is the social media tool Foursquare.  I would love to see where Don and Peggy are checking into.

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