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We Tip Our Fedora to this AgencyApril - 2015

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This past Sunday night brought a season opener that was steeped in rich tradition, filled with delicious drama and boasting incredibly high expectations.

No, it wasn’t Major League Baseball’s game between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

Rather, we’re talking about the premiere of Season 7’s Final Episodes of the AMC smash hit “Mad Men.”

For fans of the drama, the wait for the return of Don Draper and the gang was a lesson in patience as the show had been on hiatus since May 2014. For others, meanwhile, it was a great lesson in social media.

Back in January, our CEO Brian Walker wrote about how airliner JetBlue took off on social with its Fly #LikeAGirl hashtag during the Super Bowl. By taking advantage of that opportunity in real time, JetBlue showed not only how social can trump traditional advertising, but also how brands can actually be, well, social, on social media.

On Sunday night during “Mad Men,” it was advertising agency McCann Worldwide that took the opportunity to show other agencies how to do social right.

In a gift from the marketing gods, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (SCDP) – the fictional agency on “Mad Men” – was acquired by the real-life McCann.   In turn, the social media folks at McCann took full advantage by engaging with anyone following #MadMen via Twitter on Sunday night.

McCann started off with some great social teasers that included their offices “preparing for integration” with the agency and new business cards for Don Draper and staff.

That appetizer, however, was nothing compared to the main course as during the show, McCann live tweeted with hilarious commentary and even mixed in a little industry insight as well.

What made this experience so terrific was that the agency showed an actual personality. When one scene in “Mad Men” involved the firing of account man Ken Cosgrove, who referred to the “Mc” in McCann as “Black Irish thugs”, the actual McCann agency suggested that someone call HR. When another scene showed an incredibly sexist group of McCann account men, they apologized “in theory.” Online, the agency wasn’t afraid to push limits that would have made Roger Sterling proud.

McCann’s industry tweets were equally well done. Timed with the right tone and frequency, they referenced Showtime’s well-targeted ads along with a missed opportunity for a condom ad that followed a Don Draper sex scene. It reminded audience that along with a good personality came McCann’s expertise about the subject on screen.

What we liked most about this social media lesson was that it was taught by an agency. Yes, that might sound strange, but typically, social (and digital) success is often on the client brand side. Much has been written over the years about agencies playing catch-up, but in this case, McCann took the lead.

And for that, we tip our fedora to them.

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