"The overall marketing strategy has been to broaden the awareness of Mad Men and make the show accessible to a larger audience," said Theano Apostolou, SVP of PR, talent relations, and promotional events for AMC. "We have a very passionate following; what they call in research terms 'evangelicals.' So we've got that benefit of the tremendous word-of-mouth, and we've got the media really into the show, as well as all the industry trades and awards. So now it's a matter of bringing it to a broader audience."
The network's partnership with Banana Republic is one example of that, as the retailer is using Mad Men as its theme for its office collection in stores from July 21 to August 11. AMC leveraged that partnership for an exclusive in the New York Times, which also touched on other aspects of its marketing campaign.
AMC is also hosting "New York's Gone Mad" events throughout the week in New York. Apostolou notes that the city itself is "one of the central characters in the show." Events include a partnership with the New York Mets on August 14, and a video installation of vintage ads and ads created by the show's fictional advertising agency, Sterling Cooper, at Columbus Circle. Additionally, AMC will screen the premiere at 10pm on August 16 in Times Square, as it debuts on the network.
AMC's AOR Feren Communications is aiding the network in the effort.
"We wanted to deconstruct the show in such a way that there are different entry points into it," Apostolou said, mentioning the fashion, history, advertising, and just entertainment elements. "The whole point from the first season was to be able to break out all these different points [and] appear off the entertainment pages."
For media relations, AMC also worked with The Wall Street Journal, for pieces about the women directors and writers of Mad Men and the fashion, and Vanity Fair, for a photo spread by Annie Leibovitz, among other outlets.
Online, the show has a robust Web site and MadMenYourself.com, which allowed fans to create their own Mad Men-themed avatars and then use them on sites, such as Twitter.
"We've seen the benefit of things like Twitter to us and Mad Men," Apostolou said. "We could see how the MadMenYourself site spread like wildfire."