AMC’s acclaimed TV series “Mad Men” returns this Sunday with a 2-hour long season premiere episode and Newsweek is celebrating with a special vintage double issue that mirrors the magazine’s graphics of the 1960s. Available in print and tablet editions, the special issue features 25 retro ads created specifically for the occasion. The idea of creating custom ads was sold to Newsweek executives by Boston-based, Interpublic agency Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, which also helped to bring the project to life and created some of the ads. Major advertisers among which British Airways, Dunkin’ Donuts (see below), Geico, Mercedes-Benz, New York Life and Johnnie Walker participated in the effort. There will be 40 kiosks set up in the lobbies of ad agencies to promote the issue this week.
In addition, Newsweek‘s online partner The Daily Beast has overhauled their website to reflect the special issue’s design. A slideshow of the ads on the website also allows users to vote for their favorite execution.
Newsweek‘s initiative certainly isn’t the first attempt by marketers to capitalize on the buzz surrounding the series since 2007: last year, Banana Republic launched a clothing line for men and women inspired by “Mad Men”; and in 2010, Mattel sold versions of its Barbie and Ken dolls styled after four characters: Don, Betty, Roger and Joan.