The Real Mad Men and Women of Madison Avenue Explores American Advertising from the 1950s through Today, Premiering June 30 at 8 p.m. on THIRTEEN
Roy Eaton, Jerry Della Femina, Paula Green, George Lois, and other creative giants recount the history of the advertising industry through unforgettable stories and campaigns
Inspired by AMC’s Mad Men, The Real Mad Men and Women of Madison Avenue chronicles the growth of the advertising industry from the 1950s through today, looking at the real men and women who created some of the most ground-breaking advertising campaigns and slogans and whose work changed the landscape of the ad industry, airing Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 7 p.m. on WLIW21 and at 8 p.m. on THIRTEEN with encore presentations June 30 at 11 p.m. on WLIW21 and July 1 (early Monday AM) at 12 a.m. on THIRTEEN. Viewers will find out if the three martini lunches and workplace trysts featured in AMC’s hit television show were the stuff of dreams or reality.
Isaiah Mustafa, widely recognized for his role as the main character of Portland-based Wieden + Kennedy’s Old Spice advertising campaign “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” takes viewers on a guided tour of the tremendous transformation of the advertising industry over the past 60 years, from the “one stop ad shops” that used to rule Madison Avenue to today’s new generation of interactive and digital agencies, many of which are small, boutique firms offering specific media needs to a small number of clients. Through the transformation, there has always been one constant: New York City. The city, which now houses over 800 ad agencies, has served as the backdrop for the industry. The documentary showcases the creative, innovative, and iconic work that was and is still being created here.
The Real Mad Men and Women of Madison Avenue features interviews with legendary ad men and women from throughout the years, including Roy Eaton, Jerry Della Femina, Amil Gargano, Paula Green, George Lois, Jane Maas, and Len Sirowitz from the Mad Men era; today’s reigning ad men Gerry Graf (Barton F. Graf, 9000), David Lubars (BBDO), Tham Khai Meng (Ogilvy & Mather), and David Sable (Young & Rubicam); Mediapost advertising critic Barbara Lippert; Interactive Advertising Bureau President and CEO and former New York Times ad reporter Randall Rothenberg; and the late William (Bill) Bernbach, Helmut Krone, and David Ogilvy; among others.
The advertising industry reached a creative high throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. This period saw the birth of many of the most memorable campaigns and slogans including “End of the Plain Plane” for Braniff International Airlines, “Think Small” ad for Volkswagen, and “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s” for Levy’s Real Jewish Rye. The ads produced during this time began to mirror cultural and social ideas, reflecting the needs, fears, and desires of the American people as a way to cultivate brand loyalty. It was during this era that advertisers welcomed counterculture and rejected conformity.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the industry experienced a huge consolidation. The prominent ad firms began merging or were taken over by global holding companies. Today, the “Big Four” media mega-companies – the United States’ Omnicom Group, France’s Publicis Groupe, and Britain’s WPP Group – soak up more than half of the industry’s total yearly revenue. Agencies also began to change their marketing strategies in the 1990s to become less dependent on television and print, and moved toward multiplatform advertising including coupons, direct mail, sports sponsorships and product placements to keep relevant in the ever-competitive economic climate.
By the new millennium, the Internet had arrived. Eighty-three million Americans were using the Internet in 1999. By 2009, the number of users increased to 220 million. As consumers started going online for news, entertainment, and socializing, advertising followed. The amount of Internet advertising spending increased by 500 percent in less than 10 years, jumping from $4.6 billion in 1999 to $23.4 billion in 2008.
After broadcast, the film will be available to national audiences at thirteen.org/real-mad-men.
The Real Mad Men and Women of Madison Avenue is a co-production of The One Club and WLIW21, in association with WNET, the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations and operator of NJTV.
Mary Lockhart is executive producer, writer and director of The Real Mad Men and Women of Madison Avenue program. Mary Warlick, CEO of The One Club, is executive producer. Diane Masciale is executive producer of local programming. Executives-in-charge of production are Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of WNET, and John Servidio, General Manager of NJTV and WLIW21.
The Real Mad Men and Women of Madison Avenue is funded by The One Club and by Members of THIRTEEN.
For 50 years, THIRTEEN has been making the most of the rich resources and passionate people of New York and the world, reaching millions of people with on-air and online programming that celebrates arts and culture, offers insightful commentary on the news of the day, explores the worlds of science and nature, and invites students of all ages to have fun while learning.
In 2013, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York’s flagship public media provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Today and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore iPad App where users can stream PBS content for free.
About The One Club
The One Club, a non-profit organization, exists to champion and promote excellence in advertising and design in all its forms. Founded in 1975, as part of its mission to promote high standards of creative excellence, The One Club produces the One Show, One Show Design, One Show Interactive and One Show Entertainment. The coveted One Show Gold Pencils are regarded as the zenith of achievement in the advertising world. Its OneScreen Short Film & Video Festival returned from a four-year hiatus in 2012.
In 1995, The One Club established an education department, dedicated to fostering the creative talents of advertising students nationwide. The department administers scholarships to outstanding students in advertising programs at a variety of schools across the country and produces an annual College Competition. As a part of this department, the award-winning One Club Diversity Program conducts workshops, portfolio reviews and outreach to multicultural students around the country.
Art & Copy, a documentary film produced by The One Club, won an Emmy Award after appearing on PBS Independent Lens.