After eight years, it’s either painfully redundant or painfully eye-opening to remind people the man behind Don Draper has never won an Emmy. Sure, Hamm snagged one Golden Globe for his work on “Mad Men,” but the repeated snubs by the TV Academy have stacked up over the years to a preposterous point. He’s now on the infamous level of Jason Alexander — the “Seinfeld” star who went zero for seven at the Emmys — and Steve Carell (0-6 for “The Office,” plus three more misses if you count his losses as the show’s producer) as unrewarded actors who nailed iconic roles.
AMC is looking to change that in the series’ final year of eligibility. With its new Emmys ads — rolling out in Los Angeles on June 1 — the network has created a special campaign designed to play up nostalgia for its unjustly ignored star. In the spots below, you’ll see a traditional campaign highlighting memorable moments from Season 7b, as well as a separate campaign with photos of scenes from past seasons, paired with memorable quotes from Draper/Hamm.
Can the strategy work? It very well could. Though the TV Academy clearly feels no pressure to honor exiting icons, nostalgia can play a part from time to time. Kyle Chandler won for the last season of “Friday Night Lights,” and Bryan Cranston beat out Matthew McConaughey last year at least in part because “Breaking Bad” was coming to a close. Cranston has been a thorn in Hamm’s side since the beginning, taking home trophies for Outstanding Actor even when “Mad Men” was winning four Drama Series trophies in a row. This year, he has less competition and much more positive attention than in recent years.
Of course, Hamm’s isn’t the only drought AMC is hoping to end. “Mad Men” hasn’t won a Primetime Emmy since 2011, and no cast member has ever been singled out for their work. Without appearing too biased, I will say at least one viewer wouldn’t mind seeing a “Mad Men” sweep at this year’s awards. Here’s hoping these ads have the same effect as Don’s final ad.
The Jon Hamm campaign:
Season 7b Campaign
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