The songs that Mad Men uses over its end credits has always been something to talk about. Usually, the song oddly matches up with the episode, leaving us with another emotional punch as the credits roll — and before it cuts to the "next week on Mad Men" thing. For its finale, Mad Men used the song "Buy The World A Coke" as its commercial from 1971 played on the screen. Oddly fitting, yes, because Mad Men wraps up in 1971, and as seems to signify, Don Draper returns to McCann Erickson to produce this ad.
Even though you might not have been around in 1971, you certainly know the commercial, and you most definitely know the song. "Buy The World A Coke" is actually a commercial called "Hilltop" which shows a diverse cast of young people singing about buying the world a Coke, and yes, they're on top of a hill. This Coke jingle was so popular, and so well received, that it was later re-recorded as the song, "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony)." And hey, I'm sorry for bringing up both of these songs, because it's impossible to talk about them without having the lyrics stuck in your head forever. My bad.
This commercial lines up perfectly with Mad Men's time line, but there's one other thing they perfectly pulled off, too: a McCann-Erickson agency actually made this Coke commercial in 1971. They were the real agency to produce the ad, so it's implied that Don actually makes his way back to the agency and makes this for them. This commercial first aired in July of 1971, and from the pumpkins and ghosts on the wall of McCann-Erickson, we can assume it's Halloween time, giving Don about nine months to get this in the works.
It's a great nod to the world of advertising that this was the final song to be used on Mad Men. It was a commercial before it was ever a chart-topping song, and it was also a groundbreaking commercial (and song) that's still a part of pop culture today. It was even re-recorded and used in another Coke commercial in 2006.
In last week's "The Milk and Honey Route" Don stared down a Coke machine at his middle-of-nowhere motel. In "Person to Person" Peggy tries to get Don back to work by suggesting that he could work on the Coke campaign. Do you think Don ever really manages to outrun the Coke that's following him around? Does he go back to work? Is he responsible for the next wave of Coke commercials, those polar bears? I'll leave that up to your imagination.
But now, without further ado, I've gone ahead and Googled it for you. Here's the "Hilltop" commercial that Don may or may not have helped create.