25 April 2012

Mad Men Redux

It’s back after a long hiatus. 

My thoughts about the show a few years ago:

06 August 2008
Mad Men
… As as a rule I’m not a big soap opera fan – and Mad Men is primetime soap. My guess is that only about a fifth or sixth or less of screen time has anything to do with the wonderful world of advertising. Mostly it’s steamy bubbles.

And that's fine. Probably better. It's sumptuously produced dark froth, brilliantly performed.  At times it morphs into classic tragedy and very good theatre.  Just as often it sinks into cliché silliness.

Not much has changed.  Like I said in a comment attached to the post above, there are fans who love the sets, makeup, hairstyles, costumes – and if something isn’t from the era, or year, or even season of the year – any sort of anachronistic screw-up – they have conniptions. 

imageYet if Don Draper comes up with an advertising slogan like he did for Lucky Strike (“It’s Toasted”) that’s from the 1920s (maybe even earlier) – why, there’s no problem!  No one cares. 

Imagine if Don showed up at the office one day dressed like "Nucky" Thompson.  All hell would break loose. 

This year has already had its share of suspect scenarios.  I had a tough time believing that very young teenagers would be smoking marijuana backstage (or even in the audience) at any concert, Rolling Stones or Herman’s Hermits.  Sure, in 1968 and after that – but not much earlier.  

And I’m completely in the dark as to why SCDP trashes television advertising, with its one-man TV department. While there were specialty agencies that concentrated only on print, most were deeply involved in TV and had large departments dedicated to television and radio.  More often than not, a VP of Programming held more power than all the account execs combined. 

imageIf this oversight is ultimately a major factor in the demise of SCDP, it would all make sense. (And if Matthew Weiner steals this idea, I’m hiring Lawrence Preston and suing.)

The Truth Be Known: I watch Mad Men and get a big kick out of it. 

(And Roger Sterling tripping was hysterical.  John Slattery should play Timothy Leary in something.)


19 April 2012

Forever Young & Top Ten Secret Facts About Advertising

A couple of short videos worth your time:

Carol Orsborn takes AARP Magazine and rips it to shreds.  Actually, she doesn’t – but I didn’t direct her video or I might’ve suggested it.

Carol likes AARP and their magazine. She simply took issue with an issue – one with an ageist cover teaser and a few la-de-da comments in the  story.  Watch Don’t Defy Age. Embrace It:

Dr. Carol Orsborn

By sheer coincidence, or due to some mystical alignment of the cosmos, Carol’s video is a good companion piece to last week’s polemical take on the new Depend® campaign.  Ageism is rampant in advertising and media.

Another good video:

Barbara Hannah Grufferman on Anti-Aging

Culled from my book Advertising to Baby Boomers
© 2005:

advbbcoverContrary to popular myth, Baby Boomers do not believe that they are still teenagers or young adults. (Some probably do, but they need therapy.) Boomers are slyly redefining what it means to be the ages they are. Included in this new definition are some youthful attitudes - but the real change is that instead of winding down, many are winding up…

There is a big difference between thinking you are younger than you are, and not thinking that you are old. This “night and day” distinction
may confuse many pundits, but it does not confuse most Boomers…

The Ad Contrarian has tossed up a short video entitled Top 10 Double Secret Unknown Facts About Advertising:

The Ad Contrarian

Not only a companion piece to many of his posts (and new book), it complements a slew of mine:

The Social Media - WOMM - Web Advertising Posts

28 March 2012

Leafing Through The Ether

I try to spend an hour or so a week leafing through the ether in search of something new to write about. I’m rarely successful. Everything is a rehash, and I end up rehashing the hash. Of course, the rehashers have no idea they’re rehashing.


Retire? No thanks, say these baby boomers
image… "I will never retire," he said. "So much of yourself is built around what you do everyday. There is a loss if you aren't doing it."

Over the next decade, an estimated 2.5 million baby boomers in Georgia will move toward retirement. But for the generation born between 1946 and 1964, the notion of retirement has changed.

The Unretiring Kind: Boomers Gear Up for Second Careers
Boomers have never left the stage. Their second acts include starting their own companies, buying franchises and reinventing careers.

Sounds familiar:

May 2006
My Warm Milk and Nap
"Money is not the sole motivating factor behind Baby Boomers working into retirement. They instead see work as a way to stay challenged and mentally active and sustain a link to the community they have been a part of for most of their lives…"

17 August 2007
Time to Retire the 'R' Word
We're not 'looking forward to retirement,' we're looking forward to new lives, new challenges. Only a small percentage will opt for pure retirement. (I predict that in twenty years the word 'retirement' will still be in dictionaries, but followed by the modifier archaic.)

And you might check this out.

School Daze:

Baby boomers bring new meaning to the term lifelong learner
Not all older students are returning to higher education for career retraining. Many are attending universities for pleasure or personal fulfillment.

Sounds familiar:

07 November 2005
imageBaby Boomers, Adult Communities, and Education
I did a conference call consult recently with a couple of on-the-ball entrepreneurs. The product/service targets Baby Boomers and their interest in continuing education…

Green Boomers:

Study: Baby Boomers Believe in Sustainable Principles (and Will Pay for Them)
In assessing whether the consumer would pay more for green, sustainable practices, we found a majority of respondents in the Boomer study indicated they would spend a little more for a healthier green home, with the average willing to pay 7 percent more for their purchase.

Sounds familiar:

image17 February 2011
Green Boomers Redux
It really won’t be too big a job convincing most Baby Boomers to think green – or at the very least consider green/greener products.

Maybe next week I’ll be a better googler, unethering something new and exciting.

20 March 2012

The kids are alright.

The Generation Bashers are back

OK, they never left.  A bit of history:

Me vs. We 
11 February 2008
Baby Boomers were stigmatized when we were in and around our twenties, early thirties. Sure, we were ‘me’ back then. Barring tragedies like war and all sorts of catastrophes similarly horrifying, most young adults are me, me, me.

Me vs. We Redux
26 June 2009
I did read something about a bunch of pundits apologizing for the recession/depression or whatever we’re going through. Apparently, they think it’s all their fault because they’re Baby Boomers. (Did any generation apologize for The Great Depression? I’ll have to check the history books.  If not, it should.  Some of those evil bastards must still be alive.  Anybody over ninety-eight had better atone.)

Me vs. We Redux Redux
22 October 2009
Baby boomers may be popularly portrayed as whiners, complainers and narcissists, but a new study by University of Massachusetts Amherst psychology Professor Susan Krauss Whitbourne says the 50-somethings are getting a bad rap.

“It’s wrong to say baby boomers are selfish and only care about staying young,” said Whitbourne. “They have a feeling of connection to younger generations and a social conscience.”

But this is all getting old and boring.  Now the pundits have a new generation to bash.  One that’s even worse than Baby Boomers!

Young People Becoming More Focused on 'Me'
Today's young adults are more "Generation Me" than "Generation We," according to a new analysis…

Millennial Generation Money-Obsessed And Less Concerned With Giving Back, Study Finds
… Researchers have found the so-called Millennial generation to be less environmentally conscious, community-oriented and politically engaged than previous generations were at the same age…

Wow.  Real no news news.  From my book © 2005, 2007:

excerpt advbb

The kids are alright.