Alex Chesbro's Blog

Mad Men | May 22, 2009

AdFreak, one of my favorite ad blogs, has a piece on some slutted-up Ad Guys.  The fashion spread was for AmEx’s fashion magazine, something called “Departures.”  Whatever the fuck that means.  I wouldn’t read it if I were forces to wipe my ass with it.  The title of the piece is “Today’s Real Mad Men.”  I take some issue with this.  First of all, let’s take a gander at a couple of the photos.

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Hey Jeff Goodby, how you doin’?  “Aw, yeahhh, just restin my arm on this non-existent shelf.  You know how I do.”

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Yo, Gerry Graf (Saatchi&Saatchi), why you smilin’ like a queer?  “Yo, my wrist bling costs more than a Junior’s yearly salary.  Fo Shizzle!”

So what do I take issue with?  Let’s start easy.  First of all, if your NAME IS THE AGENCY, and it’s over 40 years old, you’re probably not a Mad Man.  Being located off Madison Ave doesn’t really help either.  Second of all, if you’re an insolent dipshit, you’re probably not a Mad Man either.

Now, where’s the beef?  Basically, it’s this.  Mad Men (the show) isn’t about fashion.  It’s barely about advertising as it is (Trust Me did a much better job at that).  Don Draper, Roger Sterling, all of them, were more about their attitude, the way they carried themselves.  They were cool under pressure.  10am bourbons?  Check.  Cool demeanor?  Check.  Using words to kick ass and take names?  Check.  Oh, and Don is constantly out of bubblegum, so watch out.  

These “new” Mad Men are none of the above.  The attitudes and personalities in the advertising business are nothing like the so-called “Mad Men” of the 1960s.  Today, if you’re not a douche, don’t expect recognition.  That’s the way it seems, at least.  Check out Sterling Cooper’s agency.  Do they give a shit about awards?  Meh, Draper goes to the show and doesn’t give a rat’s ass.  Watch him during the presentations.  He wants to make advertising that will be beneficial for the clients revenue.  After all, if you increase the revenue of the client, they’ll come back next year and increase yours with a larger media buy.

This article should have included only one person out of the whole package.  Jeff Goodby.  And if they wanted to be creative, the title could’ve been “The Last of the Flock,” or something like that.  Because he’s the only person on that list that comes close to qualifying.

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