Of course I’m talking about my passion for the very popular series Mad Men, featuring fictional ad man, Donald Draper, about to premiere its 5th season. If you’re a fan then you share my enthusiasm.
I love this show. Not just because of its poignant depictions and complicated characters, but because it takes us into a world we, ad practitioners, are very familiar with. It depicts the raw effort, creativity and ambition of a self-made guru of his art. Moral failings aside, there’s something in Draper every professional admires – his confidence, his instinct, his charisma.
But there’s also the authentic depiction of life in the 1960’s ad world from the birth of an idea to the influence of the creative director in the client relationship, as well as the significance of television as a game-changing medium. We see how things have both changed and remained the same. Clients are entertained, the politicking is rife, talent is always highly sought out and the glory of winning a pitch never gets old. It’s all in there.
Kudos and thanks to the head writer and creator of the series, Matthew Weiner, for bringing, so vividly and convincingly, this fictional world to life.
Fortunately, the characters of Mad Men live a drama that most of us won’t have to endure. But the drama reminds us of the amazing industry that we have the privilege of working in and what we have inherited. And it’s great that we get to relive a pioneering age and be inspired to spark our own kind of renaissance, be it personal or industry-wide.
Undoubtedly, Draper’s magnetism and talent is worthy of his fan following. Surely there’s a Draper idol in all of us, whether we like to show it or not; a Draper idol that defies gender, age and career status. Who doesn’t dream of being a charismatic influence?
So let’s celebrate creativity and inspirational leadership by celebrating this show and certainly the season!