Every business blog needs some occasional levity, don’t you think? A dash of entertainment among the earnest and ongoing effort to deepen our shared understanding of the topic at hand, namely online marketing and the challenge of making commercial web sites work better. So allow me to alert you to some great marketing-oriented entertainment: Mad Men Marathon Monday.
With Season 3 of Mad Men starting up on August 16, AMC decided to play all 13 episodes of Season 2 in one day, back-to-back, and that day is Monday, August 10.
In the unlikely event that anyone reading this post has not heard of Mad Men, it’s an award winning drama set in New York City, in the 1960s, at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue. “The show centers on Don Draper, the agency’s creative director, and the people in his life in and out of the office. It also depicts the changing social mores of 1960s America.” More…
To be clear here, I’m not suggesting that anyone call in sick and stay home from work to watch this marathon “live” on Monday. Of course, feel free to stay home and watch it if you have a vacation day you can take, but you’ll probably want to record it instead of starting to watch TV at 7AM. After all, what are DVRs for?
Devices like Tivo are great for recording marathons like this so you can watch them without commercial interuption (i.e. fast forward through the breaks). And that’s where you find this post’s fortifying dose of irony: A television drama about the history of the advertising industry will be presented in a way that enables viewers to avoid seeing any adverts.
Clearly that is AMC’s perogative. They own the show. And they have released Season 2 on DVD, which is also an ad-free viewing format. My guess is that the Monday marathon will spur sales of the DVD edition while still bringing in some ad revenue (companies advertising during the marathon have presumably discounted their spending based on the assumption that X percentage of viewers will skip their commercials).
I suspect the big payoff for the marathon is the ad revenue from Season 3, which you can’t watch “live” unless you put up with the ads (there will be two more minutes of ads per episode in Season 3). However, BMW has stepped up to provide a limited interuption broadcast of the season opener. Also look for more of the product placements that help fund the series, from companies such as Cadillac, and fashion-related promotional tie-ins from The Gap. I mean, what could be more entertaining than the marketing of a show centered on marketing?