Toyota kills with zombie Corolla ad on AMC's 'The Walking Dead'

By T.L. Stanley on Thu Nov 4 2010

If you had a choice, wouldn't you pick a Humvee or a tank as your getaway vehicle in case of a zombie apocalypse? Apparently, a Toyota Corolla will do the trick, too, if you believe a commercial that aired during Sunday night's launch of the spine-chilling AMC series The Walking Dead. The undead-themed spot, set up like a movie scene with a couple watching a zombie attack safely from the multiplex, is the latest to pick up the thread of the show it's airing in. AMC has some experience with this, having done it all season with '60s-style Unilever ads during Mad Men. (Some viewers liked them, some didn't. I found them to be fairly cheeseball.) The cable network, on a roll with its original programming, is obviously able to draw in marketers who want a piece of that high-quality action and are willing to fashion their campaigns to fit the environment. I'm not sure I'm sold on a Corolla as a zombie shield, but the spot was so unexpected, I stopped fast-forwarding through the ad break to watch it. The 90-minute Walking Dead premiere, by the way, pulled in a monster rating with 5.3 million viewers, the highest for any series in AMC's history and better than nearly every non-sports program that aired on Sunday night, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed. That's a lot of eyeballs on a contextually relevant Corolla ad. Creepy and clever!

74 real-world brands feel the love during season 4 of 'Mad Men'

By T.L. Stanley on Tue Oct 19 2010


Lucky Strike cigarettes dropped its fictional ad agency, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, but still managed to reap the rewards from its association with Mad Men. According to tracking firm Joyce Julius & Associates, the smokes landed $360,000 worth of (real-world) unpaid media exposure from AMC's hit series. (Never mind that the playboy scion of the ciggies' controlling family is portrayed as a drunken lout, which is less than flattering even though it's make believe.) The 13 episodes in the '60s-set drama's just-ended fourth season contained 74 brand references, including Clearasil, Honda, Ponds, Life cereal and Samsonite, the Joyce Julius study found. Sunday night's finale packed in the American Cancer Society, Dow Chemical, the Salvation Army, Disneyland, Saran Wrap and Corning. Those are all worth money, which will no doubt come as welcome news to marketers who don't have to cough up any green to be featured on the show. But now that the fourth season's finished, where's the solace for the rest of us?

Pretend to get drunk, have affairs with Mad Men dolls

Posted on Wed Mar 10 2010

Madmen-dolls Mattel, in partnership with Lionsgate and AMC, today unveiled Mad Men Barbie dolls. Having watched the series, I'd say the dolls are not intended for children. In fact, the Mad Men replicas are meant for collectors, who would appreciate their couture clothing and accessories. The action figures, which retail for $74.95, are modeled after four of the show's characters:  Don Draper, Betty Draper, Roger Sterling and Joan Holloway (now Harris). While the Barbies don't look exactly like the characters, I can see the resemblance and the 1960s fashion they represent. Ironically, this is pretty good advertising for a show that's about advertising. Don Draper would be proud.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

AMC spoofs Weatherproof's Obama ad to trumpet 'Breaking Bad'

Posted on Wed Jan 27 2010


Why, they're practically mirror images, these two billboards, except one features a marketer playing fast and loose with likeness rights and the other focuses on a character skirting the rules in a much bigger way. AMC, home to the groundbreaking series Breaking Bad, couldn't resist a parody to promote the upcoming launch of the third season on March 21. The cable network chose to copy the maligned Weatherproof ad that used President Obama's image without his permission. The two sat side by side in New York's Times Square for at least a day. AMC's near-exact replica puts Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, a two-time Emmy-winner in the role, in his meth-making accoutrement under the headline, "You got no proof." (He sure is defiant, that high school teacher turned drug kingpin, even though his criminal enterprise is starting to fray at the seams.) The Weatherproof billboard, already scheduled for removal, is due to come down today. The brilliant Breaking Bad ad will stay up for about a month.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Last chance to get your official 'Mad Men' Brooks Brothers suit

Posted on Fri Nov 6 2009


Fans of the AMC show Mad Men don't need to be told that the season-three finale airs this Sunday night. But if you want to do more than just watch the show—specifically, if you want to dress like dashing Sterling Cooper creative director Don Draper—you'd better shake a leg, daddy-o. The official Mad Men Edition Suit from upscale clothier Brooks Brothers (which has made almost all the clothes for the show's male characters) is nearly sold out. "The run was limited to 250 suits," says Brooks Brothers director of communications Arthur Wayne, "and there are only a few left." Since going on sale Oct. 9, the gray sharkskin ensemble (list: $998) has been a brisk seller. BB's Rodeo Drive store sold out of the special threads after only three days. And no wonder: It's not often that a retailer will sell you pretty much the same outfit that a costume designer makes for TV. But in this case, it was a bit of reverse engineering. Brooks Brothers—the haberdasher of choice for generations of business sharks—consulted with Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant, opening its archive of catalogs from the early 1960s. The Mad Men Edition Suit differs from what actor John Hamm wears on the set in one major respect: It has a much lower waist. "Pants were high-waisted in 1963," Wayne says, adding that some contemporary adjustments were necessary. "Our suit has a more contemporary fit," he says. After all, "the guy buying this is style conscious."

—Posted by Robert Klara



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