‘Mad Men’ Finale Was an Effortless #PRWin for Coca-Cola

Some spoilers ahead.


We can debate the quality of last night’s Mad Men finale until we’re blue in the face: did the writers really earn the Stan-loves-Peggy moment? Did Don or Peggy pitch the Coke ad? How did Roger and Pete get such happy endings after acting like total clods for seven seasons? Did we really need to spend so much time at the hippie yoga retreat?!

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Totally true.

A couple of things are clear the morning after, though: the finale was great news for Coca-Cola and McCann Erickson.

Some data presented by Amobee Brand Intelligence:

  • Right around the time the series concluded with that ridiculous 1971 ad, the Coke brand saw a 991 percent increase in “digital consumption,” which Amobee defines as “a measure of how often a term/brand is actually “seen” online.”
  • In short, Coke got more than two weeks’ worth of exposure in a single day. Amobee calls this “unprecedented in the history of television.”
  • Numbers surrounding McCann, the agency that played a supporting role in the show’s final season, are even better: the agency saw a 1055 percent “consumption” boost.
  • That’s not all: 41 percent of conversations related to McCann mentioned Bill Backer, the creative director who actually worked on the “Hilltop” ad in 1971.

Now, for contrast, check out the number of Twitter mentions last night for the brands that paid for ads during the finale and those that appeared organically:

  • Coca-Cola: 21,000 tweets
  • McCann Erickson: 2,900 tweets
  • Steve Jobs biopic: 106 tweets
  • Buick: 38 tweets
  • Adobe: 34 tweets

So a show about advertising indirectly demonstrated the value of earned media. This was Coke’s only contribution to the conversation:

The numbers are particularly impressive given the fact that Mad Men has never scored the viewership numbers of its parent network’s more popular shows Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead.

But, of course, everyone was talking about the episode even if they weren’t actually watching it at the time.

As Don Draper himself once said:

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…or you could be fortunate enough to be the subject of that conversation.