The finale of the phenomenal AMC show Mad Men ended with Don Draper doing some soul searching and missing out on the legendary Coca Cola ad.
Mad Men has become a trend, a legend. It is now the story people imagine when they think about the 60s and the 70s. Jon Hamm has a large part in making Don Draper a household name and many admit that they will admit the character dearly.
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While the 7 episode final season consisted of Don going back to his roots, coming in terms with his present and finally finding peace in his soul. Don misses out on the ultimate phenomenon in the field he so dearly bequeathed his life to. The Coca Cola ad.
With McCann Erickson absorbing Sterling Cooper Draper Price into its office primarily with the goal of acquiring Don, Don makes a run for it. Peggy even tempts him to come back so they can work on something big like Coca Cola. Don refuses and says goodbye.
A lot of debate ensued over the original claim of the company actually doing the ad. So we go to the backbone of the story of the legendary “I’d like to buy the world a Coke’ ad. No, Don Draper was not the genius behind the ad.
It was a McCann Erikson version of him named Bill Backer. Bill was stuck at the Irish airport during a flight delay and saw people sharing and laughing over a Coke. He felt instantly inspired that Coke was not just a beverage but a commonality worldwide that brought people together.
He came back with the idea of “I’d like to by the world a Coke’. He coordinated with Billy Davis, music director on the Coca-Cola account, as well as British songwriters Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway. They created the ad for radio. The New Seekers, a British-based pop group, recorded the jingle, “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke.”
The ad was recorded with heavy budget of $250,000. It was shot on a Roman hilltop and was titled “Hilltop”. So what does that imply as the ad plays at the end of the Mad Men finale right after Don Draper is seen sitting in a yoga pose in casual clothes? Simple, that the world and Don Draper moved on and the Coke ad could have been made without him and it was.
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