Poodles at the piano: from Madmen to Madwomen

One of the only good things about being stuck in Post-Ear-Op-Confined-to-the-Indoors-Ville, Arizona, is that I’m (Lol) actually remembering to watch TV. Luckily the new series of Madmen started last week, and although it seems to be getting off to a slow start, it’s still as classy a production as the first series.

What’s interesting about this series is that the DDB influence is proving more and more of a threat, as the Bernbach philosophy slowly permeates its witty way across the US. It was funny to see the ‘Lemon’ ad crop up as one of the characters leafed through a magazine in the last series, and I’m looking forward to more of those real-life ad references in this series. In case you didn’t see it a few weeks back there’s an interesting Times article on it all here.

It’s nice to see Peggy shining to her full creative potential, despite all the chauvinism of the times. I’ll never forget how much I laughed in season one in that focus group episode. Peggy, while still enfettered in her former incarnation as Draper’s PA, was meant to be assisting with market research into lipsticks, when she suddenly came out with some astute insight of some sort, and a copy line around the theme of ‘basket of kisses’. Whatever it was she said, it had the madmen bowled over with shock. How was it they described it? ‘It was like watching a dog play the piano.’

Obviously since then creative directors have come around to the idea that girls can be creatives too – but it still reminds me of an observation I made the other day. That in a world where women always have to queue for eons to get to a toilet in most public places, there are a few sacred buildings in London where that’s never the case. Go into a ladies loo on the floor of the creative department in any major London ad agency, and you’ll never ever have to wait your turn – it’s marvellous. Women often sneak into the men’s when they’re in night-clubs don’t they? I guess ad agencies are the only place where you might ever see a bloke sneaking into the ladies when things get busy. Just a thought – will crawl back under duvet again now.


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