So Don finally will sell his ad without the image of the product in the picture. Yes, this actually was a real ad run by Chevrolet.
But I'm ahead of myself.
This is one of those pivotal episodes of "Mad Men" when a dramatic shift in the primary story arc occurs. In this case it's a merger which is as significant as the decision that created Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. And that this re-creation episode was written by series creator Matthew Weiner is obvious.
Don takes charge again, with the help and encouragement of Roger, but overriding the plans of three partners. And with the behind the scenes help of his mother-in-law (it's Mother's Day, after all), Don was able to grab hold of his relationship with Megan who implements her mother's suggestion (though it appears the side-deal with Sylvia is dead, immediately because her son's back for an indefinite stay and because her husband has quit his job - they will have to move).
Pete is crushed by two dominant authority figures in his life, Don and his father-in-law, simultaneously destroying whatever advantage in life he thought he had gained. We see him literally stumble down the stairs yelling at Don for dumping Jaguar just before he learns dear old dad-in-law is pulling the Vicks account. What Pete doesn't understand about people would fill a book as he learns that his father-in-law is very comfortable risking embarrassment to protect his daughter, Trudy, who starts completing the task of getting Pete out of her life. And down the stairs Pete tumbles.
Peggy communicates to Abe that she doesn't like change and she wants things in her life to go back to the way they were. Lo and behold, they did in her work life. Her current firm Cutler Gleason and Chaough will merge with Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. And Peggy was the one tasked with creating the image of the merged nameless firm - the episode title "For Immediate Release" is a reference to the news release we see her writing, alone at her typewriter, at the end. But how this assignment was handed to her was a perfect Weiner scene - Don shook Peggy's hand as he and Ted told the stunned under-thirty copy chief to go write up a press release describing the kind of company she'd want to work for. Again, her mentor Don has given her a crucial, highly responsible, task. (By the way, it's 1968, as we know a tragic year, so Weiner has her state she loves Bobby Kennedy....)
Roger is back in full-on mode. In fact Roger is in bed with Daisy, a 25-year old TWA stewardess, played by Danielle Panabaker (who we first got to know as Julie, the sometimes-wise-beyond-her-years teen daughter of James Wood's character defense attorney Sebastian Stark in "Stark." Roger is manipulating her to gain access to a potential client, it seems almost any potential client but maybe not. And in the end, we have to know that Roger's machinations created all the important stuff in this episode, some maybe inadvertantly - put Don alone with Herb to dump Jaguar, put Pete in the brothel with his father-in-law, put Megan in the position to seduce Don, put Ted together with Don to hammer out a joint approach to Chevy, put Peggy....
Joan. Sitting with the investment banker (this was before they were despised) she sees the possibility of wealth beyond her dreams as she, Bert Cooper, and Pete conspire behind the backs of the other partners to go public, good grief an IPO. Only Roger and Don have other plans, and Don wins when he takes charge. We have to remember that it wasn't Don's "creative" that ultimately got them Jaguar but Pete's whoring out Joan to the dispicable Herb. Losing Jaguar ends the chance for an IPO (though Pete's loss of Vicks had yet to happen).
Joan is as angry as Pete, but she doesn't fall down any stairs. She rages at Don: "Honestly, Don, if I could deal with him, you could deal with him. And what now? I went through all of that for nothing?"
His ego aroused, Don answers: "Joan, don't worry, I will win this."
“Just once I would like you to use the word ‘we’ because we’re all rooting for you from the sidelines, hoping that you’ll decide what’s right for our lives,” Joan angrily tells him, simulaneously standing up to Don and acknowledging that all of them are dependent upon Don.
And Don's good. But he and Ted are at the bar sharing their ad ideas because they are depressed - the big firm is there to push them out - they don't have a chance.
Ted said "they're going to take our creative and give it to the big boys.... This is General Motors ... they fight the war with bodies on the ground."
Don explains his idea:
"Just music, people's faces, all kinds, teenagers, dads, moms, different expressions of wonder, what could this possibly be, it's so new, this combination of technology, power, and comfort, that it's impossible to imagine, but not at Chevy, the future is something you haven't even thought of yet. You run that for a week, then you finally show the car."
The print ad above at the beginning of this post isn't exactly that, but by the time it ran the car design was completed. It ran without showing the car. The print ad below came a bit later, again not exactly what Don described but....
With 20-20 hindsight we all know what happened to the Vega....