Mad Men's "Secret" Product Placements

By mattdentler | Matt Dentler's Blog August 18, 2009 at 4:21AM

Mad Men's "Secret" Product Placements
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That Season 3 season premiere of Mad Men was pretty great. Overflowing with story and character development, mixed with lots of what people love about the series: drinking, smoking, sex, and advertising. The great value of the show, to its producers and its network, is that you can insert brands for narrative purposes and it's hard for anyone to complain (unlike, say, 30 Rock). Nevertheless, there can be times like in the season premiere, where you feel a particular brand comes across as just too-ideal. The biggest example from the premiere, was London Fog. The clothing company, often associated with raincoats, received minor bruises when the show's agency was tasked to reinvent the company's image to consumers. In the end, though, it felt like London Fog had great products. Sure enough, this wasn't simply pure storytelling. For Brandweek, Todd Wasserman looks at the placement of London Fog, as well as other brands, in this season of Mad Men:

The show's third season, which premiered Sunday (Aug. 16), featured placements with London Fog and Stolichnaya vodka that both brands said were engineered.

In the first episode of the third season, London Fog is a client of Sterling Cooper's and the father and son running the company appear at odds about the direction of the brand, leading Mad Men's protagonist, Don Draper (Jon Hamm), to dream up a new ad campaign.

Stoli, meanwhile, gets the thumbs up from agency head Roger Sterling (John Slattery), who is shown celebrating with the drink and denying upstart Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) the vodka ("Not the Stoli!") A rep for London Fog confirmed that the brand's placement was indeed facilitated by the company's pr agency, though she didn't say if any money changed hands.