Magazine article ADWEEK

The Latest Branding Opp? the Profile Picture: AMC's Mad Men Yourself Gives Marketing Boost to Critical Darling

Magazine article ADWEEK

The Latest Branding Opp? the Profile Picture: AMC's Mad Men Yourself Gives Marketing Boost to Critical Darling

Article excerpt

NEW YORK Twitter may be free of advertising, but that hasn't stopped brands from trying to get in front of users glued to the fast-growing service. They've made their presence felt ill subtler ways, such as holding quizzes and donating to charities in the hopes visitors will tweet about a brand. One of the more recent efforts involves brands looking for a persistent presence in the Twitter stream through users' profile pictures.

AMC last week struck a chord on Twitter with a new site called Mad Men Yourself, created in advance of the debut of the third season of the series about life at Sterling Cooper. (It returns Aug. 16.) Mad Men Yourselt, created by New York digital shop Deep Focus, invites users to build a stylized version of themselves in the manner of characters on the show. It's the latest in a series of avatar creation sites (think OfficeMax's Elf Yourself) with a 2009 twist: visitors can easily use their customized creation as their Twitter or Facebook profile picture.

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By the end of the week, Twitter was alive with Mad Men-inspired icons, to the point that social media site Mashable.com called the effort "pure genius."

"We were looking for an unexpected way for fans to enter into the world of Mad Men," said Linda Schupack, AMC's svp of marketing. "We wanted something that lived digitally that could [have] a pass-along quality to it."

AMC said it hasn't yet compiled the numbers of avatars generated, but Twitter Search shows hundreds of people are discussing the show and its promotion. …

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