Since Sunday, “Mad Men” fans have been mulling over the AMC series’ ambiguous finale ending and debating whether or not Don Draper (Jon Hamm), fresh off of his meditation-filled retreat, personally created the iconic 1971 “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” ad. Well, they may now have a definitive answer. “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner spoke Wednesday at an event at the New York Public Library where he made his first public comments about his show’s last episode, specifically addressing the Coke ad ending.
Weiner was interviewed by novelist A.M. Holmes Wednesday, during which he promised he would be making his only public comments about the show’s finale. During the interview, the writer/producer confirmed that, yes, Don did in fact pen the famous Coke spot.
"In the abstract, I did think, why not end this show with the greatest commercial ever made? In terms of what it means to people and everything, I am not ambiguity for ambiguity's sake,” said Weiner, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “But it was nice to have your cake and eat it too, in terms of what is advertising, who is Don and what is that thing?"
Weiner also contested many critics and viewers’ cynical interpretation of the Coke ad’s use in the ending, arguing that it did not mean that Don’s newfound inner peace had been commoditized and cheapened.
"I did hear rumblings of people talking about the ad being corny. It's a little bit disturbing to me, that cynicism. I'm not saying advertising's not corny, but I'm saying that the people who find that ad corny, they're probably experiencing a lot of life that way, and they're missing out on something," said Weiner. “Five years before that, black people and white people couldn't even be in an ad together! And the idea that someone in an enlightened state might have created something that's very pure — yeah, there's soda in there with a good feeling, but that ad to me is the best ad ever made, and it comes from a very good place. That ad in particular is so much of its time, so beautiful and, I don't think, as — I don't know what the word is — villainous as the snark of today."
Weiner’s comments echo those made by the man who played Don Draper, Jon Hamm, who told the New York Times Monday that he believed his character had a happy ending.
“My take is that, the next day, he wakes up in this beautiful place, and has this serene moment of understanding, and realizes who he is. And who he is, is an advertising man. And so, [the Coke ad] comes to him,” Hamm said. “There’s a way to see it in a completely cynical way, and say, ‘Wow, that’s awful.’ But I think that for Don, it represents some kind of understanding and comfort in this incredibly unquiet, uncomfortable life that he has led.”
So, the creator and star of “Mad Men” are optimistic about Don’s future after the end credits roll. Now that the show is over, fans will have to take their word for it.