Mad about Mad Men - Advertising at its best?

14th September, 2010

Mad Men is set in the 1960s, initially at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue in New York and later at the newly created firm of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. The show centres on Don Draper, creative director at Sterling Cooper and a founding partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, as well as those in his life, both in and out of the office. As such, it regularly depicts the changing social attitudes and values of 1960s America.

Mad Men has received critical acclaim particularly for its historical authenticity and visual style, and has won multiple awards.

It is interesting to see the changing trends of advertising from the sixties "smoking and drinking" to the current day's puritanical view on what the consumer should be subjected to... Is this right or wrong? Isn't advertising really just showing the consumer what the advertisers want them to see. Unfortunately, it boils down to the brands that can afford to stage spectacular adverts that get the lions share of the market. But is this really true?

Go back in time...I believe that the iconic adverts that stick in my mind are not today's all singing, all dancing, action and technology packed spectaculars, but the simple adverts of the 60's, 70's and 80's.... Yes, they contain more corn than a can of Green Giant but they stick in my mind and have done for many years. Take for example the? Cadbury's Smash Adverts. Even now watching them has the ability to make me smile... shame however that I would never eat the product in a million years! Imagine if these little men had been used to advertise something else...

You will notice that many advertisers are now using images of their old adverts to present day ones... Hovis and Fairy to name but two. It shows just how the advertising producers and the public have changed the way they perceive advertising. Change is good but in my opinion some of the old ones are still the best.

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