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Mad Men and AdAge: Where the truth lies

By June 25, 2008July 9th, 20216 Comments

In Can subliminal marketing be responsible? I shared a faux subliminal ad that AMC was using to promote Mad Men, their series about a fictional Madison Avenue ad agency set in 1960.

For a number of reasons, I argued that for this show, subliminal advertising would actually be the responsible thing to do, even though subliminal advertising doesn’t work.

The Golden GlobeĀ®-winning series for Best TV drama and actor will be back on Sunday, July 27th (I can’t wait) and it’s DVD box set is being released on July 1st and AMC is going to make sure that the sleeper hit of last year gets a lot more attention this season.

Today, I received this in the mail:

 Mad Men / Advertising Age - Special Advertising Section

At first, I thought Ad Age was simply doing a retro cover. Upon closer inspection, I realized MadMen had done it again when I saw the headline “Sterling Cooper Wins Kodak Projector Account” with a picture of the agency’s Creative Director, Don Draper.

I showed it to two members of my team (possibly the only two that don’t watch the show) and asked “What’s wrong with this picture?” Both thought it was just a retro cover.

Like the show, it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake. Sixteen pages intermingles real articles pulled from the Ad Age archives, along with an interview of Draper, “then and now” comparisons and lots more.

There’s a lot to like here:

  • It’s driving word of mouth
  • By putting a premium on creativity, it’s breaking through the clutter
  • It couldn’t be more targeted: Ad Age readers are people that will buy the DVD and watch the show
  • Some of the folks in this target are media buyers
  • Mad Men is a period piece, and this is loyal to and even builds upon that
  • Incredible pass-along value
  • This is an Ad Age issue that will be around for awhile (I’m sure by the time this makes it to our ‘idea box’ it will be dogeared)

Two quotes from a sidebar called “What They’re Saying…” you might find of interest:

Advertising is based on one thing: Happiness.

[Advertising] is most effective when it does its job, for whatever client, in an honest way.

The first quote is by Draper. The second is by John F. Kennedy.

So, which quote to do you agree with more, and why?

Comment below to weigh in.

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