As a concept, creating an online avatar of yourself is as old The Simpsons. The ‘Simpsonize Me’ promotion for ‘Simpsons – the movie‘ in conjunction with Fox and Burger King was a big hit way back in 2007. A similar concept for Mad Men, the TV show, Mad Men Yourself created a lot of buzz. The microsite helps you a create a 1960s-character loosely tied in with the show’s characters, props and all.
I think the cult following of the show and its characters helped generate involvement. Also, the show was popular among ad agency folks who are typically passionate and ‘involved’ about their business. So a show and an online activity on a subject close to their heart helped create that extra stickiness (even if it is about creating an icon like the one you see on the left).
As brand sites go, getting users involved in the content for a long periods of time is an indicator of success. And Mad Men Yourself scored on that front. The social media integration, which is now a mandatory for online activity helped achieve scale & visibility. This campaign has been nominated for Viral Marketing at the 2011 Webby Awards.