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Don Draper Would Be Proud

AMC’s Mad Men is of course set at an advertising agency, so any promotional or marketing campaign for the series is sure to draw some curious scrutiny.To promote the upcoming third season, AMC launched a vital marketing effort,  “Mad Men Yourself” which lets users create online avatars based on the Mad Men universe.

The problem with viral marketing is that it has to go viral, a task that is easier said than done. Luckily for AMC, the strategy appears to have paid off. The network says some 485,000 people created and downloaded avatars in the 16 days since the campaign launched. And while that might pale in comparison to the nearly 2 million people that tune in to the show each week, if people are actually posting those avatars to their Facebook profiles (or, uh, Twitter pages), it is safe to say that many more have seen them.

The Mad Men yourself campaign is part of a larger marketing effort, which includes Mad Men themed cocktails at New York City Hiltons’ and a Mad Men night at Citi Field, culminating with a screening of the series premiere Sunday, August 16 in Times Square.

Of course, at the end of the day it comes down to buzz; all the viral marketing in the world means nothing if the product it promotes is of poor quality. That would not apply to Mad Men. AMC has one of the best drams on television. The challenge is spreading the gospel of Don Draper to the otherwise unaware masses. Will Mad Men yourself be enough to do it? Probably not, but it can’t hurt.

Until then, you still have six days to create your own handsome cartoon doppelganger: