Don Draper

Watch It Mad Men.

This year for my birthday my wife bought me a very, very nice timepiece. There was nothing wrong with my Tag Heuer Monaco, she simply wanted to give me something a bit more significant to commemorate a milestone birthday. Now I wouldn’t want to trade in my new watch, but I also wouldn’t mind owning the Jaeger-LeCoulture Mad Men watch that will be released this month.

Why would I want this? Well it is going to be a true collectors piece since only 25 will be made. That means that it is also an investment since it’s value will do nothing but increase over time.

The Jaeger-LeCoulture Mad Men watch is  aspecial edition of the Jaeger-LeCoulture Reverso, that is engraved with the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce logo. Each watch comes in a custom-designed walnut commemorative box featuring the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce logo embossed on top, with a copy of “Sterling’s Gold” autographed by Matthew Weiner.

As a Mad Men fan, this would be a very sweet watch to own, although I doubt I’d ever wear it.

Radio does Mad Men.

Lately I have been watching Mad Men seasons 1 through 4 on Netflix. With Season 5 delayed until January 2012 I’ve been jonesing for the show just a bit, and I decided to watch the first for seasons over. I’m actually really glad that I have. I am catching all sorts of things this time around that I either missed or forgot over the last 4 and a half years.

The real reason I am posting about Mad Men has nothing to do with my TV viewing habits. What it does have to do with are these great posters from Cape Town-based design studio Radio. I have no idea if these are going to be used to promote Mad Men for the AMC network, but if not they should. The posters have a really nice retro feel to them without being to period. At times they feel older than the decade that Mad Men is set in, but that doesn’t bother me that much. They have a great illustrative style and the execution is really well done.

Madmen Illustrated.

I’m a huge fan of the TV show Madmen. I still have last season on my DVR so I can watch episodes at my leisure this winter and have a little Madmen fix when I need it. So last night while cruising through Amazon I discovered this.

Mad Men: The Illustrated World, by Dyna Moe

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This fun illustrated paperback takes a look at the culture of the ’60s through the lens of the hit AMC show Madmen, offering up important information like drink recipes, women’s hairstyle tips, appetizer menus, and, as an added bonus, paper cutout dolls of everyone’s favorite office manager, Mrs. Joan Harris. The illustrations are great. If you have done the Madmen Yourself on Facebook, or seen any of the Madmen desktop wallpapers for your computer, then you are familiar with Dyna Moe’s style. At $8.50 on Amazon, it’s a must have for the die-hard Madmen fan.

The Truth Behind Consumer Created Ads.

In a recent New York Times article, “Do-It-Yourself Super Ads” the Times writes about the effectiveness of so-called home-brewed, or consumer created  Super Bowl ads:

“Be afraid, Madison Avenue. Be very afraid. That seems to be the message in the aftermath of the crowded, frenetic advertising bowl that took place inside Super Bowl XLIV a couple of Sunday’s ago. Among those commercials consistently deemed most effective, memorable and talked-about, many were created or suggested by consumers — or produced internally by the sponsors — rather than the work of agency professionals.”

Some of what the New York Times is talking about are: Doritos’ “House Rules“. and, Doritos’ “Underdog” commercials. According to the New York Times, both spots tested very well in a variety of surveys and polls after airing. The conclusion being that: “Consumers seem to know best what other consumers will like to watch in the “unique” ad environment of the Super Bowl.”

OK I’ll give them that. They probably do. What the New York Times fails to mention is, Joshua Svoboda, the 24-year-old  who reportedly created the Dorritos’ “Underdog” commercial for or $200.00 and ended up with the grand prize of $600K  works as a creative director. A guy who works with him at 5 Point Productions  won another Doritos’ contest in 2007.  Which is not to say that these two gentlemen didn’t do  a great job, they did, but you know, the story would’ve been a whole lot stronger  if they were made by  the other Joshua Svoboda, the guy who is a plumber by day, Don Draper by night.

The guy who created Doritos’ “House Rules” is a “writer, director, producer & editor” in Hollywood. As for the two Herbert brothers who won Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” contest in 2008 they had been “building their Transit Films business“.

The five finalists in 2007 were a short-film director, a musician, the same Herbert brothers, the same 5 Point Productions teams, and an aspiring filmmaker Billy Federighi who also had won a similar contest by Converse that ran the year before and who was subsequently contracted by Leo Burnett after it aired.  (In 2008, the contest ran in a different format with Doritos looking for a music performer.)

The winner of Heinz’s 2008 “UGC” contest – Matt Cozza, a director, producer, photographer and editor.  Amazon’s 2009 contest winner – a pro photographer Angela Kohler who does really awesome work, by the way. This list goes on and on.

After reading the Times article I have to say the last thing agencies need to worry about is the average Joe stealing their collective thunder. They need to worry more about the client that read the article and thinks they can get the same results for $200.00 a DSLR, and a cast from the mail room.

After reading the article and doing some digging, my real gripe here is that these companies are spinning the ads as something genuine, when in fact they are really being created by industry professionals like me. I think I would have more respect for them if they were either upfront about the creators backgrounds, or if they restricted contest submissions to amateurs.