MadMen is a show on AMC that’s centered around the advertising agency business. As AMC puts it, MadMen is “Set in 1960s New York, the sexy, stylized and provocative AMC drama Mad Men follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising, an ego-driven world where key players make an art of the sell.” It’s a good show, a really great show. Here is a clip from Season 1.
Unfortunately, it seems like majority of companies are still buying advertising space based on demographics. Company X, which for the purposes of this argument is BMW, will buy space on show Y, which for the purposes of this conversation is MadMen, because people between the ages of A and B who make somewhere between M and R watch the show. If we assume that’s who’s watching the show, we wouldn’t take into account that a large portion of the viewing audience are advertising people. You know, people who work at agencies
If my hypothesis is correct and agency people are a big part of the audience, wouldn’t companies, like BMW raise the bar on the creative? Running the same creative they run on every other channel seems silly to me because the viewing audience is much more sophisticated. I’ve been taking note of the ads that are running during the episodes and assigning them letter grades from A – F. The average letter grade is a D. I also casually looked at the critical reviews of the ads that had reviews available, and the pundits seem to agree with me.
Aren’t these just wasted dollars? Why aren’t we being smarter about the ads we create? Shouldn’t we consider the audience we’re speaking to, the show we’re running on, and may other factors when creating ads. Well, I do. MadMen is the perfect test kitchen for ads. Where else can companies get free feedback from other agencies about their work?
C’mon people, we can be better. We can be smarter. We can make this work. We just need to think things out a little bit more.