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Brand World

Pourquoi Don Draper est fou de Coca

26/05/2015 - par Mark Tungate

Mark Tungate, notre chroniqueur anglais, est un fan de Mad Men, série qu'il suit depuis ses débuts - et même un peu avant. Du dernier épisode de la série culte, il conclut qu'en dernière analyse, Matthew Weiner, le créateur de Mad Men, aime la publicité. Ouf!

And so Mad Men is over, leaving a Don Draper-sized hole in my viewing habits. I’ve been in on it from the start – and even slightly before. I was working on my book Adland, about the history of advertising, when my old friend Jonah Bloom – a former editor of Ad Age – told me about it. We were in Cannes at the time. Jonah had been invited to a premier of Mad Men and related the now-famous scene in the first episode when Draper invents a new slogan for Lucky Strike (“It’s toasted”). I was hooked right there.


It was one of those rare occasions when it seemed as though a pop cultural product had been created specifically for me. I’ve always loved 1960s suits, women who are sharp as they are curvy, and the over-consumption of martinis (blame Sean Connery). And of course I’ve been an advertising addict since my youth.


The finale ended with a Draper creation for another iconic brand: Coca-Cola. You can interpret these things as you wish – and many theses will be written about Mad Men – but it seemed appropriate to me that the series began with a product that ravaged the 20th century, cigarettes, and ended with one that is undermining the health of the 21st, sugar-packed soda.


Ironically, the show’s writer, Matthew Weiner, doesn’t see it that way. He calls the real-life Coke spot he hijacked for Draper, “Hilltop” from 1971 (actually the work of Bill Backer, a creative director at McCann-Erickson), “The greatest commercial ever made.” He even told Time magazine that he found the spot “pure…with a good feeling.”


So Weiner loves advertising after all. Or maybe he just remembers the spot from his childhood, as I do. We are roughly the same age, and probably drank a lot of Coke at the time. Actually, I preferred Pepsi. And I very much remember the TV ad, which had a great tagline: “Lipsmackin’ thirstquenchin’ acetastin’ motivatin’ goodbuzzin’ cooltalkin’ highwalkin’ fastlivin’ evergivin’ coolfizzin’…Pepsi.” Not Don Draper, but Dave Trott of BMP, in 1974. Just don’t ask me to translate.

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