It’s a Mad Mad World: Life Lessons from Mad Men *SPOILERS*
WARNING: There are enough spoilers in this piece that if you’ve never seen Mad Men, you’ll never have to.
By Gabriella Iarrobino
Being that I am a marketing major and hope to one day go into advertising, it is not surprising that one of my favorite shows is Mad Men. When people used to ask me what my major was, I’d usually reply “Don Draper,” until I realized that joke was no longer funny/ was really never funny. It’s not like I’m learning how to steal identities, drink Canadian Club like it’s water and cheat on my spouse. However, watching Mad Men has taught me a few things about advertising and life in that I would never have learned in a classroom. Here are the top ten.
1. It’s okay to get drunk at work as long as it is in the spirit of being creative, celebrating an achievement, or drowning the sorrows of (but not limited to): losing a client, not winning a big account, having a client hate your pitch & the guilt of cheating on your wife.
2. It’s a smart idea to write an open letter bad mouthing your former client in a one page advertisement in the New York Times, acting as if you are the moral compass for life even though you have had more mistresses than anyone can count through the duration of five seasons.
3. When your secretary turned wife turned junior copywriter quits her job to pursue acting, the elevator in your office building will probably not work and will serve as a metaphor for life that no one will ever really get without the help of Wikipedia.
4. Taking LSD ends in divorce and/or thinking you are at the 1919 World Series game. It also will inspire you to buy psychedelic/ugly art to hang in your office as an homage to your mind altering experience. May also end in the wearing of Hawaiian shirts when drunk or standing stark naked in your office window after hours overlooking New York City.
5. If your life ends up being an episode of “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant” and the shock of the event ends up with you being institutionalized for a period of time–your mother and sister will end up raising your child. Its okay to care about more trivial things like why you aren’t the lead copywriter on the Jaguar account than why you refuse to acknowledge your child’s existence. It’s also a plus to act morally superior to everyone and not tell the child’s father. The child also will never be mentioned or seen again after season 2.
6. If a man dies in the Korean War, its okay to steal his identity. You’ll probably end up going to California to meet his wife who really doesn’t care you did this. You’ll end up paying for her home and visiting her every year. She’ll end up being the only woman you ever actually love completely because she knows your name is actually Dick Whitman. The name Dick will end up being painted on her wall which will make it awkward for you when your daughter sees it and asks you who Dick is. You’ll give her ring to your secretary turned fiancee post coitus in Disney Land.
7. Sometimes, even though the theme of an episode is so glaringly obvious, you need to have an irrelevant character from season 1 reappear and blatantly say it in an elevator with your protagonist.
8. Orange sherbet is a great source of conflict.
9. When you end up marrying an incredibly nice and handsome man who treats you better than anyone you have ever known, you’ll probably still be jealous of your womanizing ex husband and his new wife. You’ll use your daughter to cause conflict with them. When that doesn’t work, you’ll throw groceries in your kitchen.
10. When you can only afford to buy the rights to an old French song, have an attractive woman sing it to her her much older husband and all his coworkers in lingerie. It will end up in the iTunes top 10 and you will be able to press it into vinyl and it will actually sell. Zou bisou bisou!
Images courtesy of Google.