For more than four decades, the Coca‑Cola commercial known as “Hilltop” has been regarded as one of the most iconic pieces of advertising of all time. Last night, the 1971 spot reentered the pop culture conversation when it was featured during the final scene of the final episode of one of history's most celebrated TV shows.
The AMC series ended its seven-season run Sunday night with Don Draper meditating at a spiritual retreat on the California coast when inspiration apparently strikes. A bell rings, his eyes open and he smiles, at peace. The screen then fades to the famed Coca‑Cola spot featuring the jingle, “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke”, suggesting that Draper got the idea after a cross-country, soul-searching journey that concluded, appropriately, on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
“Hilltop”, in fact, was the brainchild of Bill Backer at McCann Erickson, the ad agency which acquires Draper’s firm in Mad Men’s final season.