"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner is opening up about the series finale, including that Coca-Cola ad that closed out the show's seven-season run.
Weiner gave a talk Wednesday at the New York Public Library where he talked about the finale, his characters and the reaction the episode got from fans.
Sunday's finale ended with Don Draper (Jon Hamm) meditating with hippies at a California retreat, just before the episode cuts to the famous 1971 "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke" ad. Viewers who inferred that Don returned to McCann-Erickson and created that commercial, Weiner says, are correct.
"I have never been clear, and I have always been able to live with ambiguities," he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "In the abstract, I did think, why not end this show with the greatest commercial ever made? In terms of what it means to people and everything, I am not ambiguity for ambiguity's sake. But it was nice to have your cake and eat it too, in terms of what is advertising, who is Don and what is that thing?"
That ending, he added, shouldn't be read cynically.
"I did hear rumblings of people talking about the ad being corny. It's a little bit disturbing to me, that cynicism. I'm not saying advertising's not corny, but I'm saying that the people who find that ad corny, they're probably experiencing a lot of life that way, and they're missing out on something," he added. "Five years before that, black people and white people couldn't even be in an ad together! And the idea that someone in an enlightened state might have created something that's very pure -- yeah, there's soda in there with a good feeling, but that ad to me is the best ad ever made, and it comes from a very good place. ... That ad in particular is so much of its time, so beautiful and, I don't think, as -- I don't know what the word is -- villainous as the snark of today."
Weiner also said he's known how he wanted the series to end since season 4, including that Betty would receive that terminal cancer diagnosis. But other characters' fates weren't as clear. "I didn't know Peggy and Stan would end up together -- that had to be proved to me," he said.
For more from Weiner on the "Mad Men" finale, watch the videos below: