The One Club Diversifies the Next Generation of “Mad Men and Women”

April 09, 2014 at 12:32 pm

While today’s advertising industry has evolved in many ways since the 1960s, diversity remains a challenge. The One Club, a nonprofit that promotes and celebrates excellence in advertising, is working to open doors for college students from diverse backgrounds. 

The One Club’s Creative Bootcamps aim to recruit creative students who may not be aware of advertising or design as viable career options.

“Yes, today it is still pretty much homogeneous,” The One Club’s CEO Mary Warlick told MetroFocus’ Rafael Pi Roman.

Warlick is also one of the executive producers of the New York Emmy award-winning historical documentary The Real Mad Men and Women of Madison Avenue, a co-production of The One Club and WLIW21. Inspired by AMC’s fictional drama Mad Men, the documentary looks at the real men and women behind some of the industry’s famed campaigns and follows the growth of the advertising world from the 1950s through today.

“What we’re trying to do with bootcamp is recruit kids that may not have thought about advertising as a career, kids from colleges that maybe don’t have an uncle or an aunt in the business,” said Warlick. “And this is a quick introduction to the creative side of advertising for you know, really bright, creative kids.”

Run by Traecy Smith, The One Club’s director of diversity, the bootcamps are 4-day crash courses in pitching and creating a professional advertising campaign. Small teams of students are paired with creative directors and advertising professionals who act as mentors throughout the process. 

“I think it’s so incredibly important, not only for the students but for the creatives who are looking for ways to give back to these students,” said Smith.

“[I]t’s opening bridges but it’s also opening eyes,” added Warlick. “When the creative directors come and work with these kids for four days on real life campaigns…they get a new perspective. They get ideas they hadn’t thought about, and they re-evaluate their way of approaching things. And it’s a win-win situation.”

The Real Mad Men and Women of Madison Avenue will re-air on the following channels, days and times:

Sun. 4/13 at 7pm
Mon. 4/14 at 2am
Tue. 4/15 at 4:30am

Sun. 4/13 at 9pm
Thu. 4/17 at 2pm
Fri. 4/18 at 1am


MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.


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