Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

Post-award interview with Peggy Olson and Carri Bugbee

michaelduff: @peggyolson is crouched in a stairwell at the #shorty awards, so we’re gonna get started. Peggy, feel free to use more than one tweet.

peggyolson: Will do. Unfortunately, the music is so loud here at the hall where they held the Shorty Awards, I can’t hear myself think.

michaelduff: First off, congratulations, on your big night. How does it feel to be getting an award?

peggyolson: It feels amazing. There were so many people here at the awards show that wanted to meet me, I was surprised.

michaelduff: Were you nervous on stage?

peggyolson: No, I wasn’t nervous at all. But was surprised that the crowd hushed when I walked on stage. Didn’t expect that.

michaelduff: I have to ask, what did Peggy Olson think of MC Hammer?

michaelduff: (Ha, that one made her think!)

peggyolson: A reporter asked to take my picture with that musician and later said that I was more popular tonight than the musician was.

michaelduff: Any advice for other ad “girls” out there, aiming to win an award?

peggyolson: Being a copywriter is fun, but creating something from nothing is harder than it looks. Sometimes a lot is riding on your words

michaelduff: I know things haven’t always been easy for you at Sterling Cooper. Do you feel like they’ve accepted you?

peggyolson: I have to prove myself over again every day. It’s still a man’s world. But it keeps me on my toes. I don’t mind working harder.

michaelduff: How do your co-workers feel about the award?

peggyolson: My coworkers are thrilled. We look at the #Shorty Award as an award for all of us. We all worked together to make it happen.

michaelduff: Definitely a team effort. And now may I speak to the woman behind the curtain?

peggyolson: Sure. You know what they say, advertising is all smoke and mirrors – and they’re half right. Thx for the interview. Means a lot

CarriBugbee: That’s right, folks. If you haven’t heard, I’m the voice behind @PeggyOlson. Doing a live post-award Twitter interview now w/ @MichaelDuff.

michaelduff: @CarriBugbee Welcome Carri Bugbee. So you really are in #advertising. You’re not just a crazed fan?

michaelduff: A gentleman would have put “crazed fan” in quotes.

CarriBugbee: Ha! Who called us “crazed fans?” Oh, yeah. Virtually all the bloggers & journalists who covered the saga of Mad Men on Twitter.

CarriBugbee: Oops. Missed the first question. No, I’m not a crazed fan. More like a crazed marketer. Wanted to push the envelope of twitter.

michaelduff: But you do come from an advertising background. Is that what drew you to Peggy?

CarriBugbee: Absolutely. I worked at a well-known ad shop when I was young. Wanted to be a copywriter. But it was all about the boys club.

michaelduff: What year was this?

michaelduff: (Approximately. Wasn’t trying to make you do math.)

CarriBugbee: Gosh, a lady never tells her age. I was just a year out of college at the time. But quickly saw there was no future for females

CarriBugbee: It was in 1988. Knew it was auspicious. I started work on 8/8/88. No lie. I knew it was going to great or awful. Was the latter

michaelduff: Are you saying things haven’t changed much since 1962?

CarriBugbee: Oh, I think they’ve changed a lot in the past 20 years. But hadn’t changed much in the 80s. At least not where I was working.

michaelduff: So, how much of you is in @peggyolson?

CarriBugbee: A LOT of me is in @PeggyOlson. If I were 22 living in 1962, it’s quite possible I would be that earnest. And a go-getter.

michaelduff: So this attitude toward women, is this what drove you to start your own company?

CarriBugbee: What drove me to start my own company was recession of 1992-93. Got sick of looking for a job. Wanted people to find me instead

CarriBugbee: I also liked idea of creating my own opportunities. When I worked at the ad agency, I KNEW I would be self-employed someday.

michaelduff: Sounds like the ultimate destiny for @peggyolson, if they make it through enough seasons.

CarriBugbee: Yes, I think @PeggyOlson is destined to be a creative director. Can’t WAIT for that episode. I’ll be cheering! πŸ™‚

michaelduff: Were you the first Mad Men Twitter character?

CarriBugbee: No, I was the 3rd Mad Men character. First was @Don_Draper & then @Joan_Holloway – both of whom have dropped out now I guess.

michaelduff: (Notice, she has time to tweet other people in between questions. And I thought I typed fast.)

michaelduff: So what were your intentions, when you started @peggyolson?

CarriBugbee: My original intention was just to have fun. That lasted for maybe 2 hours. Once I saw how interested people were, that shifted.

CarriBugbee: Then my intention was to treat it like a job and gather data. Was all about the case study or white paper in the first 2 months

michaelduff: What were you trying to prove?

CarriBugbee: I didn’t want to prove anything. I just wanted to pioneer ways to use Twitter as a marketing medium. Knew it could be done.

michaelduff: I didn’t really think of Twitter as a marketing medium until tonight. But seeing these awards, you’d think that was primary.

CarriBugbee: Twitter as a marketing medium was obviously not the original intention of the platform, but hey, marketers are resourceful! πŸ˜‰

michaelduff: @peggyolson has a very authentic voice and I see a lot of attention to detail. What kind of preparations have you made?

CarriBugbee: I’ve done a HUGE amount of research. I transcribed all @PeggyOlson’s dialogue from Mad Men, make notes on background stuff…

CarriBugbee: …all the Mad Men characters on Twitter do a lot of fact-checking. Always to make sure it’s authentic to 1962.

michaelduff: Have the fans ever caught a mistake?

CarriBugbee: Yes, once I referenced the wrong Brooklyn neighborhood for Peggy. But a good & loyal fan caught that mistake & gave me heads up

michaelduff: I heard you actually caught the show in a mistake…

CarriBugbee: Yes, there was a continuity problem in the show w/ Paul Kinsey’s character going to the Mississippi riots in 1962.

CarriBugbee: One day, it’s seemingly August, but he’s only gone two weeks and when he comes back, it’s late Sept. Screwed up my tweets!

michaelduff: So, about the awards themselves. Are you happy with your big reveal?

CarriBugbee: Oh, crap! We closed down the bar and now they want us to go! I probably have to wrap up. Or tweet outdoors. Which I can do. πŸ˜‰

michaelduff: Hang with me if you can. We’re almost done.

CarriBugbee: Yes, the big reveal has been more fun than I ever expected. I have to go outside now. One moment…then I’ll resume.

CarriBugbee: Argh!!! Who said NYC is the city that never sleeps? Sinatra was wrong…

michaelduff: Apparently New York is now closed. Is Jersey open?

michaelduff: (Brief pause while @CarriBugbee is ejected from the building… Or flees with laptop in hand.)

CarriBugbee: Sorry to end abruptly, but they kicked us out of venue & it’s raining outside in NYC. my keyboard is getting wet. More later?

michaelduff: @CarriBugbee Is going to take a cab to somewhere safe and dry and we’ll resume. Probably 30 or 40 minutes.

peggyolson: Hey, I’m back! I still have raindrops on my keyboard. Tried to tweet in the rain outside the venue for the Shorty Awards.

CarriBugbee: Back now. Indoors. Still have raindrops on my keyboard from trying to tweet outside in the rain. Trackpad doesn’t work when wet

michaelduff: Welcome back! Aside from the rain and getting kicked out of the building, how are you enjoying your big night?

CarriBugbee: Yowsa. The evening was surreal. Saw a press release w/ my name on it written by a big PR firm that’s not me. How crazy is that?

michaelduff: And AMC brass actually showed up to give you the award. Did they apologize for shutting you down?

CarriBugbee: No, AMC guy is online writer and said how much they love Mad Men characters on Twitter. But he might be hipper than top brass.

michaelduff: But no hard feelings either way?

CarriBugbee: So, no apologies for shutting us down. Water under the bridge at this point. And frankly, it was good publicity for the effort.

michaelduff: So, now that you’re “out” are you going to keep doing @peggyolson?

CarriBugbee: I think I’ll keep tweeting as @PeggyOlson. I assume mostly social media geeks and ad types will know. Rest of audience won’t.

michaelduff: And what does the future hold for Carri Bugbee? What’s your next stop on the Social Media train?

michaelduff: (That’s interview speak for “What projects would you like to plug now?”)

CarriBugbee: Had so much fun (& learned so much) doing the Mad Men twitter “campaign” I thought (about a zillion times) we should be doing this for $$. And I should be working with these other crazy Mad Men tweeters. So, that’s what we’re doing!

michaelduff: What’s the plan?

CarriBugbee: I assembled a “cast” of characters to form social media coalition. The info and backstory is at www.supportingcharacters.com.

CarriBugbee: All of us are immersed in social media, but are steeped in marketing disciplines: writing, art direction, strategy, technology.

michaelduff: Any nibbles yet?

CarriBugbee: No, it’s all been clandestine. We just launched two sites tonite. Just went live w/ Mad Men twitter backstory & info about us.

CarriBugbee: It’s an idea I’ve had for months, but decided to ramp it up FAST when I won the Shorty. Put the sites together in a week. Whew!

michaelduff: So how would this work? I hire you to promote a video game and you do what? Play the characters on Twitter?

CarriBugbee: Would depend on the target audience & the product & objective – just like an marketing project. No cookie-cutter approach.

michaelduff: But it COULD include assuming characters on Twitter? Is that on the table for other movie and TV projects?

CarriBugbee: Yes, of course. I would LOVE if we could play another cast on Twitter. We’re dialed in for that approach, of course!

michaelduff: I’m curious to see how many other shows will try this, now that it’s on the map.

CarriBugbee: I am SHOCKED that every show isn’t at least trying it. Kinda bizarre that they’re not. Guess they’re in old school bubble?

michaelduff: Or paralyzed by trademark lawyers.

CarriBugbee: BTW, I gotta mention, I am staying w/ @BettyDraper (aka @AdBroad) while in NYC. It’s fantastic! And we met playing Mad Men!

michaelduff: Was this your first real life meeting?

CarriBugbee: And now we’re BOTH part of www.supportingcharacters.com. How crazy, virtual, space age is that?! Cracks me up!

CarriBugbee: And yes, this was my first real-life meeting w/ @BettyDraper. Never even knew her real name until last week.

CarriBugbee: We’re living in Internet time now. Moving at breakneck speed: Meet. Launch a consortium. Put up a Web site. Get a client!

michaelduff: Well I’ve enjoyed both of you as characters and I’m delighted to get to know you as people. Thanks for sharing your night.

CarriBugbee: Ha, ha! Well, if shows would do their OWN campaigns, no trademark worries there. I’m THRILLED to do the first Twitter interview that I know of. You were an EARLY follower of @PeggyOlson & wrote a great article WAY back when in August ’08. πŸ˜‰

CarriBugbee: It’s crazy how fast stuff happens. Can’t believe 6 mos ago I never dreamt of all this. Now I’ve got Shorty Award for tweeting.

michaelduff: I love the idea of “grownup” roleplaying in this medium. And was blown away by the quality of these performances. ALL of them.

CarriBugbee: I love the idea too. I’d never even heard of “fan fiction” before tweeting as @PeggyOlson. It’s a whole genre! Who knew?!

CarriBugbee: Thanks so much for having the fantastic idea of doing a post awards-show interview on Twitter. I’ve loved every minute of it.

michaelduff: I’m glad it worked! Transcript should be available late tonight.

michaelduff: I want to make sure I acknowledge your Mad Men partners here. Who’s still going?

CarriBugbee: Our group, SupportingCharacters.com, encompasses 17 Mad Men characters on Twitter: http://cli.gs/Wh548q

CarriBugbee: There are many more. When you count other 60s characters who joined in like @DavidOvily & @DickNixon, there R nearly 80 in all.

CarriBugbee: Oops! I meant @David_Ogilvy & @dick_nixon. Sorry! I assume new Mad Men season starts in July as before.

michaelduff: Do you know when they’re starting the new season?

michaelduff: I’m afraid you’ll need to start writing your own scripts to keep the action going.

CarriBugbee: I have no inside knowledge. 😦 We’ve certainly talked about scripting new plot lines, but what if we’re wrong about direction?

CarriBugbee: I thought it would get old to not move in new directions, but what I realized is many people are new to Twitter & to Mad Men.

CarriBugbee: Just tonight at the Shortys some guy said “I can’t follow you ’cause I’m still on Season 1!” Ha! People so worry about spoilers

michaelduff: That may be the best quote of the night. “I can’t follow you ’cause I’m still on Season 1!”

michaelduff: Very tricky. I’ll be interested to see your performance change as Peggy develops. I think this will be a big season for her.

CarriBugbee: I think it will be a big season for Peggy too. Even tho seaon 2 spent a LOT of time on the Draper family home life, (cont)

CarriBugbee: Peggy’s character arc was huge. When she walked in to bail Don outta jail I just about jumped outta my chair. Now she has power

CarriBugbee: But whatever Peggy does, I’ll try to follow her closely and stay in her voice. Would LOVE to see her in mod sixties!

michaelduff: That leads me to one I should have asked earlier. Some say Mad Men glorifies disrespect for women. What do you say to that?

CarriBugbee: I don’t think it glorifies it, I think it represents the truth of the era. I’ve thought a LOT about what it was like for my mom

CarriBugbee: My mom always had a job. She was very attractive. Never occurred to me until Mad Men how much she was probably hassled by men.

CarriBugbee: In fact, I feel like I’ve learned SO MUCH about the era — all inspired by Mad Men. I’ve done a lot of research, fact-checking.

michaelduff: But by enjoying Mad Men are we enjoying a bad thing? Celebrating rather than condemning this time?

CarriBugbee: Don’t see a reason to condemn it. It’s history. We learn from the past. I think it’s GREAT for women to see what it was like.

CarriBugbee: It’s easy to forget how far we’ve all come in such a short time. But, of course, our recent election was a great reminder. πŸ™‚

michaelduff: And I think that would be a great note to end on. Thanks so much for your time.

CarriBugbee: Thank you and good night! Now, for some dinner. Will forage for food…

Written by Michael B. Duff

February 12, 2009 at 01:59

Posted in Best Of, Culture, Journalism, TV

8 Responses

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  1. Excellent job–fascinating interview.

    Social networking as a marketing medium via role-playing fictional characters might even make the whole thing profitable.

    Next step: ditch the Old Media roots and create an entire ‘show’ that’s purely Twitter-based!


    February 12, 2009 at 11:38

  2. That was really interesting. Easier to follow in an interview format than I was expecting, too.

    Good stuff!

    Kenny Ketner

    February 12, 2009 at 12:07

  3. It’s amazing how much of Carri’s and Michael’s personalities come through in tweets of less than 140 characters. Great interview and demonstration of the format. Keep tweeting Carri!

    Steve Woodward

    February 12, 2009 at 14:06

  4. What a wonderful interview! It’s nice to be able to talk about Carri/@peggyolson after having to keep it under wraps for so long. She’s done a fantastic job. πŸ™‚

    Amber Case

    February 12, 2009 at 19:06

  5. […] ← Post-award interview with Peggy Olson and Carri Bugbee […]

  6. […] Granted the event ran a little longer than I anticipated, Heuer’s information was invaluable and it was pretty cool to meet Bugbee, who won a Shorty Award for her Twitter portrayal of Peggy Olson (@PeggyOlson)Β of AMC’s “Mad Men” (congrats!). […]

  7. […] was actually first introduced to this phenomenon by a friend who interviewed β€” via Twitter, supposedly the first Twitterview of note β€” the woman behind @PeggyOlson […]

  8. […] I remember abusing senior citizens in Grand Theft Auto and requesting help from Batman when my phone got stolen. I remember taking shots at Nick Denton and interviewing a Peggy Olson impersonator on Twitter. […]

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