Stateside
5:20 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Mad Men could be GM's dream come true

An interview with professor Michael Bernacchi.

Mad Men's Don Draper is known on the AMC show as being the best guy to create an ad campaign.

He's known for lines like, "What you call love was invented by guys like me...to sell nylons."

Don's company, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, has done creative campaigns for companies like Lucky Strike, Maidenform, Heinz and Hilton Hotels.

In the most recent season, much of the company's time was spent securing an auto client -- Jaguar.

Unfortunately, the car didn't get a great reputation on the show. One of the characters tried to commit suicide in his Jaguar, but the car wouldn't start.

Nevertheless, Jaguar did receive a 96.27 % lift in content consumption (which means how much people talk about the brand on digital devices) in only one week.

This season, Don and his team are working on a new client -- Chevrolet.

Michael Bernacchi is a marketing professor at the University of Detroit Mercy and spoke with Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty about the company's presence in the latest season.

"You get some remarkable pushes for Superbowl advertising, there was a lot of buzz about ads during that period. But, to get that kind of publicity when you don't plant it is extraordinary."

But Mad Men may not be painting a beautiful picture of Chevy. The car the show's characters are working on is the Vega, a car known for having safety and engineering problems.

"The Vega is one of the worst cars to ever come out of the U.S. But there are a lot of ways this could be handled, and [GM] can spin this to their advantage," Bernacchi said.

Bernacchi noted that GM is having a very successful spin right now, and that the company shouldn't feel threatened by Mad Men featuring the Vega, GM just needs to keep plugging away.

"[GM] needs to get in there, keep smiling, work this to your advantage, and you can be a winner and not a loser."

-- Lucy Perkins, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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