Don Draper (Jon Hamm) may have scared off the Hershey executives with his grim meltdown of a pitch meeting during the Mad Men season finale, but the candy company seems quite pleased with its prominent product placement.
“Hershey’s is the currency of affection,” said Draper. “It’s the childhood symbol of love.”
Things went a little south when he started talking about his first experiences with Hershey bars — receiving them as reward after picking johns’ pockets at the whorehouse where he grew up — but the brand still seemed to like the sentiment. “If I had my way, you would never advertise,” Draper added. “And you shouldn’t have someone like me telling that boy what a Hershey bar is. He already knows.”
Speaking with Vanity Fair on Monday, a Hershey rep said the nostalgic monologue came as a complete surprise, though the series has approached the company before and had some product donated for use.
“It was such a wonderful, organic moment that was actually very accurate about the company’s history, and it was able to tell the story of our brand and our founder, which made it so memorable,” said Anna Lingeris, Hershey’s senior manager of brand PR and consumer engagement.
In addition to bringing up plans to screen the episode internally to educate staff on brand history, Lingeris added that creator Matthew Weiner will be receiving a gift basket as a show of gratitude, as will several cast members involved in the scene — which could come in handy should any of them need to fill the plus-size costumes Betty (January Jones) slimmed out of during season six.