If you know the answer to that question, we have a pretty good guess that you’ll be tuning in to the two-hour premiere of the new season of Mad Men like the rest of us. Can you believe it’s just around the corner? We’ve had our collective non-seamed stockings in a bunch ever since we heard of the show’s return. So, what is it then about Mad Men that has so many of us all of a dither in anticipation of picking up where we left off in the crazy, but enviably stylish, world of Sterling, Cooper, Draper & Pryce?
Aside from all of the juicy character drama, for those of us in who work in marketing and advertising, it’s part fascination with that era’s office life and part history lesson about how they did “it” back then. Of course we mean the creative process. While it was a very different (though not so distant) world in terms of workplace rules (like women were expected to quit once they became moms, after accepting a secondary role to male counterparts while they were working) and social standards (okay to nap, drink and smoke on the job), the creative process seems to have been pretty much the way we run things now. Copy was longer and illustrations (not photography or white space) ruled the page, but the backbone of what made an ad work or not holds true today, too. As Don once advised Peggy who was struggling with finding a voice for a particular campaign, “You, feeling something. That’s what sells.”
We’re completely fascinated with the ad campaign meetings, too. Like when Pampers wants to create an ad for its new line of disposable diapers. The folks at the agency cannot for the life of them understand why anyone would want a disposable diaper. And, that poignant scene when Don is pitching to Kodak about how to sell their new photo slide device: he clicks through stills from his own life, featuring the other side of himself as a dad with his kids as he’s talking before finally announcing “It’s not a wheel. It’s a Carousel.” Well, when he puts it like that, could it ever have been anything else?
That’s the feeling we strive for each and every one of our clients. It’s making that connection that keeps us in the game. Mad Men shows us that while times certainly may have changed, the essence of what gets to people has not. It’s why we keep coming back for more.
How about you?