May 26, 2015

MadMen Meets Funny Girl

Last week, by far the most talked about subject in the advertising/marketing/media axis of ego was the finale of MadMen.

While I am not a fan of the show (I have tried and failed to watch it a few times) there is no doubt that it was a beautifully and artfully produced project.

It was also obsessively followed, commented on, and analyzed by our brothers and sisters in the advertising and marketing industry.

Just about every pundit, blogger, and expert had something to say or write about the final episode last week. By the amount of attention it garnered, you'd have to conclude that it was not just big news, it was a singular moment for our industry.

And if there was ever a clearer indication of the bubble we live in, and how separated and out of touch our industry is with the rest of humanity, it is this -- on the same night the finale of MadMen was airing, almost twice as many Americans watched sixty-year-old re-runs of I Love Lucy.

An extraordinary and highly notable moment for the advertising/marketing/media industry was of not much interest to the vast majority of our fellow citizens.

Now I am sure there are those among you who would say I rigged those numbers to validate the premise of my book Marketers Are From Mars, Consumers Are From New Jersey -- and believe me, if I could I would -- but I'm afraid I don't have that kind of power. Yet.

As the Amazon blurb for "Marketers Are From Mars..." says,
"...marketers and advertisers have lost touch with consumers and are living in a fantasy land of their own invention -- fed by a cultural echo chamber of books, articles and conferences in which people like them talk to people like them."
I don't know how I could have drawn up a better illustration of this than last week's MadMen/I Love Lucy phenomenon.

What our industry desperately needs is a reality check of epic proportions.


Cecil B. DeMille said...

"The check is in the mail, Bob. We promise."
- Holding Companies

Stephen Eichenbaum said...

Damn! I was trying to find "I Love Lucy" all over cable tv, and I

john p woods said...

Life's not Hollywood, it's Cricklewood ~ Eric Morecambe

BrendaKilgour said...

A lot more people eat at McDonald's every year than at Chez Panisse, too. Does that make the Golden Arches somehow morally superior? Popular doesn't always equate to good. It's OK to like what you like.

LeShann said...

I stopped counting the number of times clients ask us to target specific "quality programs" because they are targeting who they wish their target consumer is (amazingly, they're always highly educated, with taste, a sense of art, or ready to challenge the status quo etc.) rather than who their consumers really are.