Corporate Eye

Mad Men Delivers $3 Million in Free Exposure to 74 Brands

The Emmy Award-winning AMC series, “Mad Men,” tells the story of an ad agency in the 1960s.  As you might expect in a television program about an advertising agency, each episode includes multiple mentions of real, fictitious and defunct brands.  On Monday, Joyce Julius & Associates published a press release detailing research into those brand mentions, and the results are very interesting.

According to the research, the fourth season of “Mad Men” included 13 episodes and a total of 225 brand mentions.  74 brands (not including the fictitious and defunct brands) were included in that tally with several getting multiple mentions across more than one episode.

You can see the list of brands with the most frequent mentions below:

  • Clearasil: 12 mentions in 3 episodes for a total exposure value of $160,000
  • Honda: 10 mentions in 1 episode for a total exposure value of $133,335
  • Life Cereal: 14 mentions in 3 episodes for a total exposure value of $186,665
  • Lucky Strike: 27 mentions in 8 episodes for a total exposure value of $360,000
  • Ponds: 16 mentions in 4 episodes for a total exposure value of $213,335
  • Samsonite: 14 mentions in 4 episodes for a total exposure value of $186,665
  • Vicks Chemical: 11 mentions in 6 episodes for a total exposure value of $146,665

You can follow the link to see the complete list of brand mentions by episode.

Joyce Julius & Associates estimates that the total exposure value of the 225 brand mentions during the fourth season on “Mad Men” equates to a over $3 million (determined in comparison to the cost of traditional advertising to reach the same audience).  That’s a lot of free exposure!

Not only do brand mentions on television shows equate to exposure value without investment but the growth of online video and long-form online video opens the doors even wider for brand mentions.  The key to success is allowing these brand mentions to happen, so more people hear about and talk about your brand.

What do you think?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.