The point of this post, however, is not how well an agency of the ‘60s mirrors our agency today but how, even though the show is about the agency community in NY in the ‘60s, it seems to market itself like a 21st century agency. How have they done that? By having a presence that goes beyond the realms of the show itself, and I’m not talking about just the usual “About the show”, IMDb listings or online access to the episodes on their official website.
They have created:
- Sterling Cooper’s online portfolio featuring all the work that they present to clients and even doodles that the art directors might have drawn during some of the meetings. Being a collector of ads, I found this thoroughly engaging
- Twitter accounts of every character in the show, right from the Creative Director, around whom the show revolves, to his wife’s (or should I say *SPOILER’S ALERT*: ex-wife’s) maid. Every character tweets not as the actors but the characters themselves. Considering that Mad Men has a lot of under-currents in their scenes that go unsaid, the Twitter pages seem to, in a sense, bring the under-currents to the surface and engage viewers in between episodes and especially during the long-breaks in between seasons. Not only that, they even reward the show’s followers.
How, you ask?
If you’re a fan of Mad Men, the show, you start following @_Madmen on twitter, and next thing you know you have @_DonDraper (the Creative Director of Sterling Cooper, who women seem to swoon over) starts following you. Fans, especially female ones, get quite the kick when they realize The Don Draper is following them on Twitter. (Believe me, they do...I speak from witnessing the frenzy, first-hand)
The number of shows and movies that live beyond the realms of their celluloid selves are numerous. But, what are the lessons that we as marketers could possibly learn from them. Here are a few I could think of. Feel free to add or correct me if I’m wrong:
- Create a continuous presence that goes beyond the realms of your product or service
Whether it’s Barney’s blog posts that feed into the next episode of HIMYM or @_DonDraper following you on Twitter, each of the shows have built a presence that engages viewers and has a conversation with them beyond the realms of the 30-minute or 45-minute show. The more brands start having such a conversation with their consumers, the more loyal consumers it can build
- Create sticky properties or personalities
Properties such as JK Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” or Barney’s “The Bro Code” (books that are featured in the books or shows) are properties that tell us more about the show or book. JKR’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” even has doodles that Harry and Ron have allegedly drawn in class. These properties were not even advertised as separate products.
If the property or personality is sticky enough, your brand’s uber-loyalists will discover it themselves (with a bit of some smart search engine optimization) and spread its existence to those who aren’t as involved with the brand. As we all know, WOM is a far more authentic form of advertisement than a takeover of city landmarks or roping in celebrity endorsers
How many other lessons did I miss out on?