Mad about Mad Men

This fall, my Sunday nights are reserved for a special someone named Don Draper (yes, my boyfriend knows and no, he’s not all too jealous). After working as a graphic designer all week, one of the highlights of my weekend is watching a show about graphic designers. Sad? Maybe. I am fascinated by the idea of ad agency professionals working in New York City in the 1960’s. It all seems so glamorous and debonair…the office, the clients, the artwork, the schmoozing, the parties and the outfits – oh the outfits! Minus the chronic smoking, excessive drinking and philandering, I wish for just a moment that I could have worked as a creative during that time period.

I live for the fleeting glimpses of artwork produced on the show for brands we recognize. How differently it was done back then! No computers, just a good ol’ piece of paper, some markers, and witty copy. Being a design and illustration grad, I have a deep appreciation for hand-rendered artwork. The painstaking effort put into hand lettering and the sharp eye it takes to see the big picture (after all, there is no control + x) is admirable and usually results in a visual feast. Its no wonder that this aesthetic is so popular nowadays. Evoking a sense of nostalgia, vintage advertising is lovely and I want to see more of it.

On a related note, have you noticed the custom commercials being produced for brands such as Dove and Clorox that play during the Mad Men commercial breaks? I am a self-professed hater of commercials 99% of the time, which is slightly ironic considering my profession. They are high on my list of pet peeves (followed closely by bad drivers and crumbs on my kitchen counter). Most times I lunge for the remote and scramble to push MUTE.

When I saw the new Dove commercial I thought Mad Men was back on and turned the volume back up. My reaction went something like this…“Wait a minute, that’s NOT Don Draper…this is an AD! Oh, that’s sneaky!” and then I watched with rapt attention. After some consideration I’ve decided that despite the lacking visual appeal in comparison to the quality of Mad Men, I really enjoyed it. It’s something new and refreshing compared to yogurt ads and those terrible medical prescription ads with lists of side effects. It doesn’t make me want to rush out and buy Dove soap, but I DID watch it…which is saying something. It’s been made known that we can expect more commercials along these lines for brands such as Breyers, Hellman’s, Klondike, Suave and Vaseline. For the first time in a long time (other than the Superbowl and anything Old Spice) I find myself looking forwards to the commercial breaks – but only after I’ve had my fill of Don Draper!

Wanna see the Dove commercial for yourself? Check it out!

Mad Men – Dove commercial

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