Working in advertising in America i am sometimes asked if Mad Men is an accurate depiction of advertising. And i would say it is. why would it change? bricklayers lay bricks. ad people make ads. lots of superficial stuff has changed but the job remains the same.
I used to work for one of the guys who would soon become Don Drapers’ worst nightmare in the 1960s in New York: a creative nut who could both sell the shit out a product and do it in a way that made your head spin and register with the culture. The anti-Don.
Don Draper’s biggest weakness is that he’s a print guy not a TV guy. TV is about to become the overwhelmingly dominant medium. And Don’s generation listened to the radio and read LIFE magazine. He is so screwed.
Because TV, unlike the Internet, is actually hospitable to advertising. Advertising enjoys a symbiotic relationship with TV. They need us! They love us. And we love them!
And if Don’s agency is to become successful it has to be a TV agency. Can he do that? He’s old. so it probably won’t happen. But it could.
TV was still slowly evolving then.
It was print ads on TV. Just like the internet used to be TV ads on the internet. And kind of still is ;-)