'Mad Men' Pitch High-Speed Smoking Car (VIDEO)

Earlier this week, TakePart wrote about a teaser trailer for a high-speed rail PSA starring Mad Men’s Vincent Kartheiser and Rich Sommer. Produced by U.S. PIRG, the full video was released today on Funny or Die.

In character as 1960s ad man Peter Campbell, Kartheiser starts off by trying to sell Sommer (Harry Crane) on trains. It is a pitch that Sommer initially doesn’t understand the need for.

"Why are you worrying about this?" Sommer scoffs. "Trains make sense. They're efficient; they're convenient; they're good for jobs. Hell, I'd rather take a train than fly or drive anywhere. We don't need to sell trains."

After batting around more ideas, Sommer stumbles upon the way in: “No parking, no mechanic, no traffic jams. You have two guys. One is sitting on a train with his friends having a smoke, the other one is stuck with an overheated car. Smoking car or smoking car?”

The ad was U.S. PIRG’s effort to sell the American people on President Obama’s $53 billion plan to provide 80 percent of Americans with access to high speed rail in the next 25 years.

Met with significant resistance by a few Republican Governors, Obama’s rail plan would call for three inter-connected rail corridors. “Core express,” the spine of the national high-speed rail system, will speed electrified trains along dedicated tracks at between 125 to 250 mph. “Regional” (90 to 125 mph) and “emerging” (90 mph and under) corridors will supplement the core express.


We need more PSAs like this one. They're a whole lot more interesting (and, I hope, effective) than celebrities just talking to the camera. I love that the Man Men guys agreed to this. Cheers to high speed rail!