BMW Reups Mad Men Sponsorship

BMW has signed on as the exclusive sponsor of the season-three premiere of AMC’s Mad Men, which airs with limited commercial interruption Sunday, August 16.

This marks a return engagement for BMW, which helped the network kick off last season’s run with a flight of on-air and online promotions. Along with a 60-second spot, the automaker was also incorporated into AMC’s “Mad-vertising” initiative, a DVR-thwarting execution that paired the brand with industry-related trivia.

BMW’s on-screen exposure during the third-season premiere will be similar to that of a year ago. The centerpiece of the last season’s buy was an interview with former Ammirati & Puris chairman and CEO Martin Puris, in which he revealed the genesis of the slogan “the Ultimate Driving Machine.”

In order to defray the higher costs associated with Mad Men, the network is adding two minutes of commercial time per episode.

BMW spent $150 million in measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Nielsen, roughly in line with what it invested in 2007. Universal McCann is the agency of record for BMW, having won out over the incumbent, Omnicom Group’s GSD&M Idea City, two weeks ago. GSD&M remains the lead national creative agency for the automaker.

Since debuting two summers ago, Mad Men has become one of the most celebrated drama series on television. The series won the Golden Globe for Best Television Series-Drama in 2007 and 2008, and landed basic-cable’s first Emmy for Outstanding Drama.