As I write this, most of America – well, OK, most of those who work in marketing, communications, media, and advertising – is digesting the end of Mad Men, Matthew Weiner’s iconic series about the ad business that inserted itself in our consciousness over the past eight years, seven seasons, and 92 episodes.
The finale saw lead character Don Draper finding the inspiration for Coca-Cola’s Hilltop ad after a meditative stay at a commune in California. If you took a straw poll, the real-life Coke ad would be one of the most groundbreaking and iconic, ushering in a diverse global vista at the start of the ’70s with its "I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing" theme.
Excuse the tortured analogy but, as PR pros head to France for Cannes Lions, Draper’s fictional insight tells us something about today’s communications landscape.
Coca-Cola is still one of the world’s biggest and most iconic brands. But the world is so much more digitally interconnected and joined up than before. That technology-driven global interconnectivity is represented in this issue, which reflects the gathering of senior communicators in the world’s biggest industry for our Energy Roundtable; highlights our Global Awards winners; questions the US’ place as the world’s most important communications market; hears from global brand Johnson & Johnson about doubling down on stakeholder engagement to deepen trust; and profiles four emerging, but disparate markets that remind us no matter how global we become, local nuances are still vitally important to communicators.
I hope you enjoy it: It’s the real thing.