Coca-Cola Says It Didn’t Pay For Placement In Mad Men Finale

This image from the Mad Men finale has nothing to do with Coca-Cola. We just love Stan's style.

This image from the Mad Men finale has nothing to do with Coca-Cola. We just love Stan’s style.

If you haven’t watched the series finale of Mad Men, then you really shouldn’t be reading a story about the series finale of Mad Men. And if you continue reading this story about the series finale of Mad Men, don’t get angry at us for giving away what happens in the final moments of the series finale of Mad Men.

For the rest of you who did watch the episode or don’t care about having it spoiled, the show ended its seven-season run on Sunday with ad men extraordinaire Don Draper bottoming out at a West Coast therapy retreat only to be reborn from his own ashes like a smirking phoenix who comes up with the idea for the most iconic Coca-Cola ad of all time, and easily one of the most famous commercials ever put on American TV.

In fact, the show doesn’t even conclude with one of Don’s famous pitches, but rather with virtually the entire classic 1971 “Hilltop” ad, best known for its “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” jingle.

Interestingly, Coca-Cola didn’t make our extensive round-up of the 72 real-life brands that were pitched during the seven seasons of Mad Men. That’s because Don actually fled McCann before we ever had the chance to see him make that pitch. At least now we know it went well.

While Coca-Cola says it knew that the commercial would be included in the finale, the company says it didn’t pay a dime to be the final thing anyone ever watched of the AMC hit.

“We’ve had limited awareness around the brand’s role in the series’ final episodes, and what a rich story they decided to tell,” reads a statement from the company.

Maybe AMC should be asking for money from Coke, given the ridiculous level of brand exposure the few seconds of commercial scored for the beverage behemoth.

From AdAge:

The online conversation sparked a 991% increase in Coke’s digital consumption after the episode aired, according to Amobee Brand Intelligence, a digital marketing company. Its “consumption” stat is a measure of how often a term or brand is seen online.
There were 21,204 tweets involving Coca-Cola in the three hours following the Mad Men finale, according to Amobee.

For those unfamiliar with the story behind the ad, it was indeed created by McCann Erickson, the ad agency that absorbed Don, et al, during the final season — and from which he fled after only a few days.

According to Coca-Cola, the McCann creative director who thought of the ad had been waylaid at the airport in Shannon, Ireland, when he noticed that the angry passengers on his plane were now getting along and bonding over bottles of Coke at the airport cafe.