Morning update: Mad Men finale round-up; Miserable duck smiles again in Cadbury TV ad An interview with the real life ad man who created that Coca Cola commercial

On last night’s Mad Men finale, an epic Don Draper brainstorm produced one of the most legendary commercials of the 20th century, in which a group of multicultural young people sing “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” on a grassy hill.

But the real-life ad man who came up with the Coca-Cola concept is now retired and in his late 80s: Bill Backer, formerly the creative director of McCann.

In January of 1971, Backer was en route to London to meet up with the music director for the Coca-Cola account when a dense fog grounded him in Ireland. The airport was full of irritable, stranded travelers.

But when Backer wandered into an airport café, as he tells it, he was amazed to see some of the crankiest passengers, from all around the globe, laughing and bonding over bottles of Coke. Thus the idea for “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” was born.

The Star: Mad Men finale: Ten ways our expectations were broken

Warning: Spoiler Alert: Contains details from Sunday’s episode.

Millions of Mad Men fans watched Sunday’s series finale full of expectations of what might happen, as well as a certain amount of dread that its creators wouldn’t be able to bring the show’s many characters and storylines to a satisfying conclusion. Here are 10 ways our expectations were broken.

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Let’s set aside “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” and Don’s cliffside zen. Mad Men was Don’s show, and enough of the finale was devoted to him and the tertiary characters around him (welcome back, Stephanie, I guess?) that there can never be any doubting it.

But let’s be real. Enigmatic and gorgeous as that final moment was, the parts of the Mad Menfinale that really had everyone up off their couches were about everyone else: Peggy and Stan’s phone-call confession pulled straight from When Harry Met Sally, Roger including Kevin in his will, Joan forging ahead with Holloway Harris, Peggy handing Pete back his signature line.

The scenes all came from the hopeful, loving side of Mad Men that allowed the gang to pull off the coup that created Sterling Cooper & Partners at the end of Season 3—not the part of Mad Men that watched the gang attempt the same kind of coup a few episodes ago, only to get shut right down. You’ll have to forgive us for wondering if Mad Menever still had that optimism in it.

The New Yorker: The original, resonant, existentially brilliant Mad Men finale

The last time I wrote a column about “Mad Men” was midway through Season 4, and I was worried that the show—one of my favorites—was being weighed down by its own main character, Don Draper.

At the time, we were deep into the hillbilly-flashback era and, despite Jon Hamm’s spectacular performance, Don seemed to me to be degenerating into a grating Freudian symbol—of America, mostly, but also of late-twentieth-century masculinity and capitalism, as if he were a thesis statement for some graduate student in semiotics.

While the other characters felt richly idiosyncratic, Don was a brand. Naturally, soon after that column was published, the show picked up the pace, turning fleet and funny, undermining all my biases.

It swerved into comic strangeness (Ken Cosgrove tap dancing!), and I was right back in its smoky, boozy thrall. That’s the way it has always been with Matthew Weiner’s great series, a seducer unlike any other—it always came back and it was always forgiven.

Creativity: This sad, grubby-faced duck will make you smile in Cadbury ad

Cadbury Dairy Milk’s latest spot from Fallon London manages to make us feel both sorry for, and inspired by, a sad, grubby grille pet.

The TV ad, which breaks tonight introducing the brand’s latest product launch, Cadbury Dairy Millk Puddles, tells the story of a purple stuffed duck subjected to rain, snow, traffic fumes and mud as he’s driven around the country on a truck’s grille. However, as the rain clears he starts to perk up and find joy in the reflections he sees in puddles.

The song “Bring me Sunshine” (sung by iconic British ’70s comedians Morecambe and Wise) adds to the feelgood vibe.

AdAge: P&G consolidates shaving brands with Grey as BBDO loses key foothold

P&G has consolidated creative duties on its grooming businesses with WPP’s Grey, moving the Venus, Braun and Art of Shaving brands from Omnicom’s BBDO as part of its previously announced agency consolidation effort.

The move comes two years after P&G, the world’s biggest advertiser, moved the Gillette men’s razor business to Grey from BBDO and largely extricates BBDO from the P&G business, though it remains on the roster of the world’s biggest advertiser.


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