With 16 nominations in this year’s round of Emmy Awards, “Mad Men,” the AMC series about ‘60s ad executives, wants to get some viral buzz started for the Aug. 16 premiere of the show’s third season. So the network is rolling out a set of three online marketing initiatives for the show built on the Web site.
The first campaign, up and running now, lets fans of the show create ‘60s cartoon avatars that they can use in their Twitter or social network accounts or as wallpaper for their iPhone or desktop.
Users can go online and assemble an on-screen persona from body types, features and accessories drawn by well-known online illustrator Dyna Moe. They can then download those figures and use them in their profiles across various social media.
Starting on Aug. 10, AMC will also host a “Mad Men” trivia game on its Web site entitled “Which MadMan Are You?” Players can answer a series of questions and, based on their answers, get sorted into categories represented by the show’s main characters.
Eight O’Clock Coffee will have a brand presence in both these viral campaigns for “Mad Men” with low-key brand and banner ads on the sites. The coffee brand’s Web site will also offer “Mad Men” e-cards that visitors can share with friends to remind them of upcoming episodes, plan get-togethers and share feedback on the show. The trivia game and e-card campaigns will run the length of the show’s season, lasting into November. The e-cards were designed by Eight O’Clock’s digital agency S3.
“These fun applications bring together a top-rated coffee and an award-winning series to help people discover new ways to connect,” Eight O’Clock senior brand manager Alisa Jacoby said in a release. “While Eight O’Clock Coffee has been a connection enjoyed by generations for 150 years, this adds another dimension to the experience.”
“Mad Men” fans have been adding their own dimensions to the show almost since its debut in July 2007. Illustrator Dyna Moe designed a Christmas card for one of the cast members in 2007, and then voluntarily started turning a scene from each episode of the show into a desktop wallpaper. The resulting art, posted to image-sharing site Flickr turned her into a Web celebrity.
In another channel, last August Twitter users began posting to the microblog platform in the voices of the series’ main characters. AMC reportedly sent a takedown notice to Twitter asking for the accounts to be closed out, and some were. But the channel apparently revised that policy on advice from marketing agency Deep Focus and told the New York Times that it was “delighted” when the Twitter impersonations were restored to the service.
In fact, some Web commentators have questioned whether the “Mad Men” prominence on Twitter is a case of true “fan-jacking” or an instance of shrewd marketing, speculating that Deep Focus itself or some other agency is behind the Mad Men impersonations on the platform. Most of the accounts have gone dormant since the end of last year.