Mid-Century Ads: Mad Men

The term “Madison Avenue” is often used metonymically for advertising. Madison Avenue became identified with the American advertising industry after the explosive growth in this area in the 1920s.

Among various depictions in popular culture, the portion of the advertising industry which centers on Madison Avenue which serves as a backdrop for the AMC television drama Mad Men, which focuses on industry activities during the 1960s. According to the show’s pilot, the phrase “Mad Men” was a slang term coined in the 1950s by advertisers working on Madison Avenue to refer to themselves.

The series centres around the fictional advertising agency Sterling Cooper on Madison Avenue in New York City. and later the newly created firm Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. The focal point of the series is Donald Draper (Jon Hamm), Creative Director at Sterling Cooper and a founding partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Mad Men follows Don Draper and the people in his life, both in and out of the office. As such, it regularly depicts the changing moods and social mores of 1960s America.

Mad Men has received critical acclaim, particularly for its historical authenticity and visual style, and has won multiple awards, including fifteen Emmys and four Golden Globes. It is the first basic cable series to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, winning it in each of its first four seasons in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Style, debauchery, deception, adultery, jealousy… 

…that about sums up Mad Men which returns for it’s fifth season on March 25th 2012.

Campaigns that could have been pitched by Don

Gleaned from thousands of images, the Mid-Century Ads: Advertising from the Mad Men Era offers the best of American print advertising in the age of the “Big Idea.”

At the height of American consumerism magazines were flooded with clever campaigns selling everything from girdles to guns. These optimistic indicators paint a fascinating picture of the colorful capitalism that dominated the spirit of the 1950s and 60s, as concerns about the Cold War gave way to the carefree booze-and-cigarettes Mad Men era. Also included is a wide range of significant advertising campaigns from both eras, giving insight into the zeitgeist of the period. Bursting with fresh, crisp colors, these ads have been digitally mastered to look as bright and new as the day they first hit newsstands.

“The golden age of advertising has come and gone, but TASCHEN Books is preparing to release a collection of digitally mastered advertisements from the Mad Men era. The book showcases a multitude of campaigns that give insight into consumerism ethos prevalent at the time.”

trendhunter.com, United States

Cultural anthropologist and graphic design historian Jim Heimann is Executive Editor for TASCHEN America, and author of numerous books on architecture, pop culture, and the history of the West Coast, Los Angeles, and Hollywood. His unrivaled private collection of ephemera has been featured in museum exhibitions around the world and dozens of books.

Last week GQ Magazine wrote that “We don’t mind Don Draper marrying his secretary, evading FBI security checks and berating former clients in the New York Times, but here’s hoping Mad Men’s dapper anti-hero actually gets to some advertising in the imminent new series.” Full Article At GQ Magazine UK

Mid-Century Ads: Advertising from the Mad Men Era will be available to purchase from all leading book sellers soon. Check out www.taschen.com for more information.

Jump, Jive & Shout

Wish the 1950s and 60s was your era? Why not throw on your best Don or Betty Draper outfits and get down to Jump, Jive & Shout in Kennedy’s Bar, North London!

Repeat after me… When I say Doo, you say Wop. Not got it down? You can get plenty of practice with vinyl DJ Jennifer Jackson as the retro dive spins some classic 1940s and 1950s Rhythm and Blues. Feed your ears with Jump Jive, followed by Boogie Woogie and swing your way along with the godfathers of what would become rootin tootin Rock and Roll.

Outfit Inspiration – courtesy of Glamour Magazine

Venue: Kennedy’s Bar
Address: 297 Caledonian Rd, N1 1EG
Tube: Caledonian Road
Time: 8pm-12am
Info: Website
Price: £5

Here’s a tune from the Mad Men soundtrack to get you in the mood…

Pin Up Polly

This morning, I came across a 1950s/60s boutique which specialises in glamorous vintage inspired clothing and accessories, Pin Up Polly!

For mad men Style visit Pin Up Polly at http://www.pinuppolly.com/, who ship worldwide! Click the image to be redirected to their site.