Ad men may not like ‘Madmen,’ but I’m a huge fan

I adore the new AMC series ‘Madmen.’ It beautifully captures the look and feel of a time when advertising men ruled the world (or, so it must have seemed).Madmen_l

Named for what advertising execs called themselves in the halycon days of 1960, Madmen follows the in-and-out of office exploits of advertising guys who drink, smoke and wench to excess.

I’ve read quite a few reviews and letters in the ad trade pubs that either love or detest the series. Some say it doesn’t remotely resemble the BBDO of 1960 (on which the fictitious Stirling Cooper agency in the show is based). Other old-timers say it’s spot on.

Regardless of how accurate Madmen is, it comes at a particularly bad time for advertising. Despite what some say, I’m seeing more and more advertising dollars being diverted to ‘below-the-line’ functions such as PR, digital and word-of-mouth.

In fact, it’s got to be scary to be a big agency guy right now. Budgets are being slashed, brand loyalty has clearly become a thing of the past and chief marketing officers are dying faster than Mayflies.

All of which must make more than one ad guy wish he had an office set-up like lead Madmen character Don Draper’s. When Don’s stressed, he and the boys merely light up their cancer sticks, pour a tall glass of scotch and gossip about the hot women in the secretarial pool.

If today’s politically correct environment and unforgiving business climate were to be captured in a similar AMC series, it might be more appropriate to call it ‘Sadmen.’

4 thoughts on “Ad men may not like ‘Madmen,’ but I’m a huge fan

  1. I love this show. Even though I cringe at how women were viewed just 45 year ago, and that nothing’s really worth discussing unless it’s over a scotch and cigarette, the show’s ability to capture the time is amazing. Part of that is the display of what was clearly a less complicated, less frenetic lifestyle than most Americans live today. I couldn’t trade the latter for a lack of enlightenment around health, women and race, so I’ll just enjoy the show.

  2. Good to hear from the sultan of syringes. For the record, I try to make sure my personal feelings about a company or product don’t influence whether my firm represents the manufacturer. I think everyone pretty much hates air travel, I-man. Does that mean we shouldn’t represent airlines? There are a lot of things that cause one angst. Doesn’t mean one can’t work to make them better.

  3. gotta give you credit repman- at least you stick to your guns when it comes to bashing advertising and katie. you must really hate these folks b/c every chance you get, you knock them. but maybe that will change as well b/c as some poster noted in your last post about facebook- you took on an airline account of some sort (jetblue?) after you always seem to knock the industry. i did notice you ignored that one and didnt even try to spin it…what pr technique is that exactly? i thougt “no comment” was advised against in PR 101. well, here’s hoping that katie calls you to represent her in the future..that would be classic!