Category Archives: Cultural

On the Set of “Mad Men”

The set of AMC’s “Mad Men” is the focus of a stunning series of black-and-white, behind-the-scenes photos that surfaced last week. LA-based photographer James Minchin III captured the set, the props, along with candid images of the actors, both on and off the set. The work is truly fascinating in the way it connects the past with the present. The creators do such a remarkable and convincing job with the show that when confronted with the truth here in black and white, it seems almost surreal. More photos are available on Minchin’s website.


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Newsweek Goes Vintage for “Mad Men” Premiere

AMC’s acclaimed TV series “Mad Men” returns this Sunday with a 2-hour long season premiere episode and Newsweek is celebrating with a special vintage double issue that mirrors the magazine’s graphics of the 1960s. Available in print and tablet editions, the special issue features 25 retro ads created specifically for the occasion. The idea of creating custom ads was sold to Newsweek executives by Boston-based, Interpublic agency Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, which also helped to bring the project to life and created some of the ads. Major advertisers among which British Airways, Dunkin’ Donuts (see below), Geico, Mercedes-Benz, New York Life and Johnnie Walker participated in the effort. There will be 40 kiosks set up in the lobbies of ad agencies to promote the issue this week.

In addition, Newsweek‘s online partner The Daily Beast has overhauled their website to reflect the special issue’s design. A slideshow of the ads on the website also allows users to vote for their favorite execution.

Newsweek‘s initiative certainly isn’t the first attempt by marketers to capitalize on the buzz surrounding the series since 2007: last year, Banana Republic launched a clothing line for men and women inspired by “Mad Men”; and in 2010, Mattel sold versions of its Barbie and Ken dolls styled after four characters: Don, Betty, Roger and Joan.


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AMC’s “Mad Men” Season 5 Poster

AMC unveiled a new poster to promote the upcoming season premiere of “Mad Men”. The poster, which features Don Draper staring into a Manhattan storefront featuring a nude mannequin, will run across print, digital and outdoor. “This is a dreamlike image,” show creator Matthew Weiner said, “a nonverbal representation of where my head is at and where the show will be”. He added that “by the end of the season [we will] know what it is about.”


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The Artistifier

With the Oscars ceremony coming up tonight, and French silent, black and white, Hollywood-style movie The Artist hotly tipped for best picture, UK creatives Jon Plackett (BETC London) and Jon Burkhart (Urgent Genius) have teamed up to work on a side project called “The Artistifier”, a website that lets you “artistify” any YouTube video into a silent, black and white clip in the style of Michel Hazanavicius’ movie, complete with spaces for you to add your own speech captions. Social media sharing functions on the website allow you to share your creation via Facebook and Twitter.


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Trimdoll’s “Mad Men” Cardboard Doll

With AMC’s “Mad Men” returning to the screens in exactly one month, fans all over the world are trying to find ways to kill time before March 25th season premiere. While some may enjoy the rerun of season 4 and satisfy themselves with the three teasers the network unveiled earlier this week, Spanish illustrator Andrés Martínez Ricci came up with a much more fun way to entertain the most eager fans. He created a limited edition stand-up cardboard cut-out doll of Don Draper that you can dress as you like best. You can buy the figurine on Ricci’s Trimdoll website for just €15. I personally just ordered my own. I think it will be a great partner to Wieden + Kennedy’s Old Spice Bear Deodorant Protector on my desk.


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AMC’s “Mad Men” Season 5 Teaser Trailers

AMC is turning up the heat on their eager “Mad Men” fans with a series of teaser trailers for the upcoming fifth season, that will premiere on March 25th with a feature, 2-hour-long episode.

Special thanks to Vincent Muraire for sending me this.

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AMC’s “Mad Men” Subway Posters Get Tagged

When AMC came up with a “Mad Men” promotional poster depicting a falling man on a white background and the words “March 25” in the show’s signature font, most people saw a reference to the show’s opening sequence, but some saw a reference to 9/11 and more specifically to AP photographer Richard Drew’s infamous picture of a man falling of one of the twin towers. Truth is the opening credits were actually probably always intended to evoke the “Falling Man” photograph…

But creative commuters have found a clever way to use the (almost entirely blank) posters as canvases and started drawing humorous additions to Don Draper’s silhouette falling from the skies directly onto posters plastered in the subway system. The idea started a movement, initiated in New York’s subway and now extending online, with website Gothamist asking their inspired readers to submit their own creations, after the MTA cleaned some of the subway posters.


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Sh*t Ad Agencies People Say

“Sh*t People Say” videos are hugely popular now and some of them are actually hilarious. Here’s a selection of three that anyone that’s ever worked at an ad agency will enjoy:

Sh*t Ad Agencies Say


Sh*t Project Managers Say


Sh*t Creative Directors Say

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Absolut’s Indian Sound Installation

Absolut and agency SapientNitro have created an interactive sound-based art installation that allowed people to eavesdrop on special editions of the brand’s iconic bottle in which custom-made speakers played a selection of quintessential Indian sounds. The installation debuted on January 25th at the India Art Fair, where listeners were invited to go on an Indian journey by experiencing their own spiritual quest through sounds.


[vimeo w=640 h=370]
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Chevrolet’s Vinyl Billboard Bags

Chevrolet have found a great way to recycle their billboards in Canada. Rather than just taking down and trash their outdoor ads, the automaker decided to use the vinyl from the posters along with recycled seat belts and bicycle inner tubes to create trendy messenger bags and latptop sleeves. The initiative comes after Chevrolet put up dozens of outdoor ads for the launch of the new Cruze model in 2010 and is part of their ‘Driving Our World Forward’ program.


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