Mad Men Goes Back in Timeline

The team at AMC's Mad Men have gone back in the show's timeline - giving brands a reminder of the great opportunity that the tool brings.

A few weeks ago I watched on facebook as the team over at AMC’s Mad Men added a host of images and events to the show’s timeline.

For those who haven’t checked it out, the added content includes pictures and plot from every episode, as well as major awards and milestones for the show.

In essence, it tells the Mad Men story – and is a great resource that I’ve sent my friends who are just catching up on the series to check out.

Why should media organisations (and other brands) care?

Because with tools like timeline, the past is just as important as the future in creating content that connects and resonates with an audience, and communicates where you’ve come from, and where you’re going.

Without getting too meta on you by citing Mad Men within a Mad Men post, but I think Don was on to something in this video (sadly not available to embed). That is, timeline is a way to put your history on show and allow others to identify with your thoughts, products, culture and values – and in doing so take them to a place in their own story that they identify with.

To quote Mr. Draper: “Technology is a glittering lure, but there’s the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash – if they have a sentimental bond with the product.”

The question is: What’s your story and bond with your audience?

For media companies and brands, I’m sure this is just the start of what will be some great innovation and use of this tool as audiences engage and invest socially in characters and stories more than ever before (are we going to see major events and exclusive pictures of Dick Whitman and the other Mad Men characters appearing on the timeline soon, perhaps? Maybe some images and clips from the past exclusive to timeline?).

Hearst Corporation is another example of a media company doing a great job of this with its magazine portfolio.

Nice work and kudos to the team over at AMC – I look forward to seeing what comes next (or should I say what came before) in the timeline (insert Mad Men opening theme).

What do you think?

Do you have any favourite examples of brands telling a story and utilising timeline? What about their story and content resonates with you, and why?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Image credit: katclay, via Flickr CC 2.0.

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