The series finale of Mad Men seems like old news having aired over a month ago, but before writing this I had to wait for a bunch of people to catch up. If you’ve not yet watched … you might want to stop reading now.
For the rest of us, are we still wondering who wrote the ad? Probably not.
Regardless of the side you are on, what surprised me most as I spoke with friends about the last episode was it seemed people either completely thought Don wrote the Coke ad or they were absolutely certain it was Peggy. And, in most cases, they had not even considered the alternative. Creating both this duality and certainty is a final tribute to the show’s writers.
However, what I most loved about the finale was not about who wrote the ad. What I loved was how the episode captured the way in which our lives and our experiences influence our creative process. We don’t have to escape to a yoga retreat to be inspired. We can gain inspiration from a rock, a color, a joke, they way light reflects off an object, or an interesting comment that leads us in an unexpected direction. We get inspiration simply from paying attention. Did Don’s experience meditating on the mountain top provide his inspiration to write the ad, or did Peggy, talking to Don and imaging his experience on the mountain top inspire her. We’ll never know for sure.