BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing

I haven't actually watched Mad Men, but there was a mini-series on Smithsonian Channel (I think it was Smithsonian Channel) about advertising that did a lot of cutting between the TV show and real ads from that decade. I believe it was four weeks long and looked at the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. It was long enough ago that I watched it that I can't swear this is correct, but I'm close. :-)

Anyway, they showed how Mad Men concluded--with the Coke commercial from 1971. Even though I hadn't watched any of the series, I knew it was a genius way to conclude it just from everything I'd heard about the show. The ad? I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing.

In May of 2016, the real creator of the ad, passed away and the Washington Post ran a nice article about his creation of the jingle. It seems his plane to London diverted Shannon, Ireland because of fog and he was inspired by what he saw at the airport the following morning. Yes, they were delayed overnight.

The article includes a video of the commercial, a video of last few minutes of Mad Men, and a video of the man who created the ad talking about it.

I am totally an advertising geek. It was my major in college and it continues to fascinate me today.

There's a couple of interesting points. Well, interesting to me anyway. :-) It started out as a radio jingle and people called into radio stations requesting it. With this huge popularity propelling it, the jingle became part of a television commercial. It was supposed to cost $100,000, but because of weather and other issues, came in at $250,000. At the time, it was the most expensive ad ever. The other super interesting thing is that because of the jingle's popularity, it was actually released as a song. When was the last time you heard that happening?

Here's the ad in case you don't want to click over to the article: