The Banana Republic clothing chain owned by Gap Inc. is back for a second year of promoting a season premiere of “Mad Men,” the AMC series about advertising in the 1960s.
There are several elements of the “Mad About Style” campaign, to publicize the fourth-season premiere of the series on July 25, that were not included last summer in the joint promotion of the third-season premiere.
The new elements include video blogs by Janie Bryant, the costume designer for “Mad Men,” and Simon Kneen, the creative director for Banana Republic; television commercials branded with “Mad Men” and Banana Republic; and shopping events in markets like Detroit and San Francisco that will be co-sponsored by the Comcast cable company.
Other aspects of the campaign include a “Mad About Style” style guide, to be distributed in stores; store windows decorated with “Mad Men” imagery; and a “casting call” contest that offers prizes like a walk-on role in an episode of the series. There were more than two million votes in the casting call contest last summer, according to Banana Republic.
The promotion is scheduled to run from July 21 through Aug. 11 in all of the more than 400 Banana Republic stores in North America. There will also be a presence on the Banana Republic Facebook page and on the AMC Web site. AMC is part of a division of the Cablevision Systems Corporation.The style guide will feature women’s skirts as well as suits and shirts for men.
The last episode of the third season of “Mad Men,” set in December 1963, was about the main characters’ decision to leave the (make-believe) Madison Avenue agency for which they worked, Sterling Cooper, and open a breakaway shop of their own.
In keeping with the usual hush-hush policies about future plot lines at AMC — not to mention the sealed lips of the creator of “Mad Men,” Matthew Weiner — there has been scant reliable speculation about the year in which the first episode of Season 4 will be taking place, much less what may happen to Don Draper and the other characters.
All that seems to be known so far is the title of the episode, “Public Relations.”
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