Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

Live interview with @peggyolson after the Shorty Awards

The winner of this year’s Shorty Award for
did her best work in 1962.

Her name is Peggy Olson, and she is not entirely real.

The “real” Peggy Olson is a character on AMC’s Mad Men, played by Elisabeth Moss.

@peggyolson is a Twitter account run by a fan of the show, one of a group of fans who decided to impersonate characters from Mad Men and post in character on Twitter — a kind of grass-roots promotion that galvanized AMC’s audience and took the Internet by storm.

Unfortunately, not everyone was comfortable with the idea of fans taking on the roles of copyrighted characters. Concerned about liability issues and the protection of their intellectual property, AMC shut the project down, only to recant a few days later, after an ugly fan backlash.

On the show, Peggy Olson is a rising star at Sterling Cooper — an innocent learning to swim with ad-industry sharks, a cautionary tale for women in business, and an unlikely pioneer for women’s rights.

So does a fan pretending to be a fictional character deserve to win an award for advertising?

@peggyolson has never sold an ad, but her Twitter campaign is one of the most innovative promotions ever devised for a TV show.

Mix these things together and you get a figure who can represent the past, present, and future of advertising, all at once.

But who is @peggyolson? Where did the campaign start? Why did she choose Peggy? Where do the fan and the character overlap? And what has she learned from the experience?

Find out Wednesday night after the awards, when I chat live with @peggyolson and her real-life counterpart.

Peggy has agreed to step out from behind the curtain and answer anything we can throw at her.

Send your questions to michael.duff@lubbockonline.com or Twitter them to @michaelduff. Be sure to follow @peggyolson and @michaelduff after the awards so you can see both sides of the interview. Peggy will be switching to another Twitter ID after she reveals her real name.

The award ceremony will start at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Peggy will be joining me after things wrap up, probably after 10 p.m. in New York. That’s 9 p.m. here in Texas.

I’ll be tweeting live about the awards until she arrives.

Written by Michael B. Duff

February 10, 2009 at 08:18

Posted in TV

One Response

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  1. […] *I was actually first introduced to this phenomenon by a friend who interviewed — via Twitter, supposedly the first Twitterview of note — the woman behind @PeggyOlson immediately after she walked off stage at the 2009 Shorty Awards. […]

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