The the hit AMC drama “Mad Men” features a fictional ad agency in Manhattan that uses real-life products and marketing techniques to make the lives of advertising execs absolutely riveting. Products like the Kodak carousel slide projector and Heinz baked beans have been featured on the show, and the iconic Ford Mustang has been used as a reference setting a high standard for marketing execs everywhere.

marketing-the-mustangSo what was it about the Mustang marketing scheme that resulted in one of the most successful new car launches in American history? Ford takes a step back in history with documentary maker Cicely Gilkey with a 30-minute film titled “Marketing the Mustang: An American Icon.” All we’ve got is a brief teaser video for now, but that’s enough to pique our interest.

It took Ford just 20 months to sell a million Mustangs, making it the fastest-selling car of all time. And thanks to its rebellious image and wide range of customization options that let young buyers purchase exactly the car they wanted. Veteran journalist and Ford Racing historian John Clor explains why the Mustang marketing campaign was so different, and so successful.

“Young people were looking for something that was the polar opposite to what was on the highways, they wanted to distance themselves from the establishment,” says Clor. Ford delivered just such a vehicle in the Mustang, and tried to include the Baby Boomer generation in the process.

An early tagline for the Mustang was directed right at the young consumers Ford hoped to lure in; “The Mustang is a car designed to be designed by you.” Unfortunately the whole documentary is only available if you buy the Mad Men season four box set, which will set you back at least $20.

If you’re still interested in how Ford marketed the Mustang, Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson produced an excellent look at the rebellious image and marketing success of this iconic pony car. It’s definitely worth a look, and you’ll want to stick around for Clarkson’s jaw-dropping declaration at the very end. Cheers!