Imagine Richard Roundtree playing Don Draper,
and you’ve got “Don-O-Mite,”
a rad mad ad man who explodes stereotypes for breakfast.
Who’s the black ad exec
with the kick-ass powerpoint deck?
You’re damn right
Who is the man
that would risk his necktie for his brother man?
What do you get when you combine two politically incorrect classics of visual entertainment—one old, one new; one sexist, one racist; one set in the sixties on the glittering sidewalks of Madison Avenue, the other in the seventies on the desolate, drug-addled street corners of Harlem?
You get Mad Men meets Blaxploitation in “Don-O-Mite,” a brilliant mashup by New York ad agency Leroy & Clarkson, which describes itself as “a partner who’s been around the block and doesn’t have ten layers of BS about why they can’t do what they said they could do,” looking for “a partner who loves that we can adapt to just about any challenge, trusts our many years of work with iconic brands, and wants to push and experiment just as much as we do.”
They’ve certainly pushed to the limit and experimented boldly with Don-O-Mite: it’s clever, over-the-top, and manages to successfully straddle the fine line between offensive and hilarious. Slate and BuzzFeed both profiled the video yesterday, Fast Company picked it up today, and it came to my attention through a friend whose son, Ethan Christy, works as studio manager at the agency.
Leroy & Clarkson Principal/Creative Director Daniel Fries, who’s been at the firm for 13 years, offered some illuminating commentary on the video. “We’re huge fans of Mad Men, and we thought this would be a fun, viral way to promote the show and the agency at the same time.” What makes “Don-O-Mite” even more impressive is that the agency executed it from start to finish, with Fries directing all the live action. “Don-O-Mite exploits all our skill sets,” Fries explained, “from creative idea generation to creating a campaign to producing and directing the finished product.” And speaking of products, Leroy & Clarkson has carried through the video’s theme by putting up a book, Don-O-Mite on Advertising, on Amazon and will be offering some of the merchandise mentioned in the video next week. Your sandwich will never be the same after you slather it with some “Kraft Mutha Fuckin’ Mayonnaise”!
— Leroy & Clarkson (@HelloFromLandC) April 10, 2014