Apparel retailer Banana Republic is using the upcoming launch of the third season of “Mad Men” TV series to drive traffic into stores with a contest to win a walk-on part in the highly-regarded AMC series.
Would-be denizens of the Sterling Cooper ad agency depicted in the show must first get an access code from a printed “Mad About Style” guide available only with an in-store visit to one of Banana Republic’s 400 stores in the U.S. and Canada. That code allows them to upload a photo of themselves in ‘60s corporate wardrobe, male or female, at the microsite. Submissions are accepted through Aug. 11.
Visitors to that site can view the submissions and cast one vote a day for their favorites using a one-to-five-star scale. The top 10 in both the male and female categories will be named semi-finalists, and the single grand prize winner will be chosen from that group by Matthew Weiner, the creator and executive producer of “Mad Men”, based on the retro style and originality of their photos. Two runners-up will also be chosen by AMC.
The winner will get a one-time walk-on role in an episode of the series filmed later this year, along with a round-trip four-day stay for one in Los Angeles and a $1,000 Banana Republic gift card. Runners-up will receive $1,000 gift cards.
Banana republic will also be tying into “mad men” in its store window displays in the run-up to the series’ Aug. 16 launch by featuring mannequins dressed in modern takes on the retro wardrobe of the show, along with “mad Men” imagery and tune-in details.
“The iconic 1960s style depicted in ‘Mad men’ is unquestionably a character in the show, and the Banana Republic partnership is testament to the broad influence the series has had on the world of design,” AMC president and general manager Charlie Collier said in a release. “This unique marketing campaign offers an enormous nationwide platform to showcase the August premiere.”
“Mad Men,” which debuted in 2007, has won numerous Emmy Awards, including one for Outstanding Drama Series, a first for a basic cable program.