Riding on 'Mad Men's' Stylish Coat Tails

Banana Republic, Clorox Borrow Some of Don Draper's Chic

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Since its season two finale in October 2008, AMC's "Mad Men" has achieved some significant cultural milestones, from star Jon Hamm's hosting of "Saturday Night Live" to a "Simpsons" parody to its key role in the resurgence of 1960s chic in fashion shows and department stores.

'Mad Men' Banana Republic promo

Banana Republic will feature an in-store 'Mad Men' promotion across its 400 locations.

It's no surprise, then, that marketers are lining up to associate themselves with the "Mad Men" franchise in advance of the show's third season, premiering Aug. 16 on AMC. Banana Republic and AMC announced a partnership last week that will feature an in-store "Mad Men" promotion, running July 21 through Aug. 11 across the chain's 400 locations, using "Mad Men" imagery and character profiles to symbolize Banana Republic's modern take on dressing for the 1960s workplace. The retailer will also co-sponsor a contest for customers to enter to win a walk-on role in a "Mad Men" episode and a $1,000 Banana Republic gift card.

Linda Schupack, AMC's senior VP-marketing, called Banana a "perfect partner" for the network. "The style and sensibility of that brand perfectly mirrors what 'Mad Men' is about," she said. "We view the partnership not only in sync creatively from a design perspective, but the kinds of people and the numbers of people who come to Banana Republic are the people we want to reach with our message for tune-in."

Banana Republic's tie-in is the second major retail partnership "Mad Men" has executed, following a season-two promotion with Bloomingdale's that was so successful it more than doubled its limited run of featured window displays in Bloomingdale's stores.

The fashion-marketing tie-ins also extend to "Mad Men's" second-season DVD, out Tuesday, featuring a special feature titled "An Era of Style" and Don Draper's signature crisp white dress shirt on the cover. Clorox bleach created a customized ad for the DVD, in partnership with Lionsgate Home Entertainment, featuring a lipstick mark on said collar, with the tagline "Getting ad guys out of hot water for generations."

Additionally, the "Era of Style" featurette will be the subject of a Vanity Fair custom spread and sweepstakes, with an accompanying ad in Macy's stores nationwide. Variety.com will also feature "Mad Men" ads as part of its recently digitized archives to give readers a digital flipbook and articles from the early 1960s.

Anne Parducci, exec VP-marketing at Lionsgate Home Entertainment, said the "Mad Men" first-season DVD was a top-10 seller for the TV category last year, and expects even bigger sales for the second entry. "The awards the show has received really put it on the radar and made AMC readily available as a channel," she said.

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