6 February 2012
Clear your calendar and make room for the return of
Mad Men. The award-winning, critically praised show is up to its fifth season, and will be
back exclusively on Sky Atlantic starting Tuesday 27 March, at 9pm.
Furthermore, we’ll be showing each episode just two days after they’re aired in the US on
network AMC, kicking off with a double-bill season premiere.
The whisky-soaked, smoke-filled drama will once again be brought to life by its exceptional cast
and intense writing. Jon Hamm is back as villainous hero Don Draper, alongside familiar faces
January Jones, John Slattery, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks and Jared
Look out for episode three, which Hamm will direct. John Slattery will also take on directorial
duties for a couple of episodes.
Last season, we left Don proposing to Megan, while Joan’s reignited affair with Roger resulted
in an awkward pregnancy. We’re promised, according to writer and executive producer Matthew Weiner,
“a time jump” and “some new people”. He also reveals, intriguingly: “Changes have happened off
screen, and the audience will have to catch up with that.”
In the meantime, if you’d like to ground yourself in the lore of slick ad men, we’ve put
together a list of five definitive creative movers and shakers from the 1950s and 1960s, without
whom the series – and our world – would look completely different. We can’t say that they were mad,
or even bad, but they certainly had creative ideas that shaped the advertising and industry and
changed the way we all now think of products and marketing today.
Five not so mad, ad men
Saul Bass. He was one of the most
distinctive designers of movie title sequences and posters ever. In fact, it’s safe to say that the
opening sequence of
Mad Men is a homage to his creative style. His credits include
The Man with the Golden Arm,
Anatomy of a Murder and
Vertigo. He also designed logos for United Airlines and AT&T among others. He’s
even rumoured to have directed the shower scene in Psycho.
Rand. Whenever you see an IBM, UPS or ABC TV logo, you’r e looking at his work, or a derivative
thereof. He’s widely seen as the father of American modern design, influenced heavily by Europe’s
post war minimalist look.
Bill Bernbach. How do you sell a VW Beetle
in a car market saturated by American finned, chrome-clad juggernauts? Call it a lemon and sell its
simple virtues, as per copywriter Bill Bernbach’s brilliantly simple and innovative ad campaign.
His agency Dale Doyle Bernbach led a movement to base campaigns on realistic product attributes,
doing away with the overt glitz and clutter approach that was previously popular.
Glaser. He co-founded creative agency Push Pin Studios in the mid-1950s and remains an advocate
of simple, elegant graphic design. He famously gave Bob Dylan kaleidoscopic hair in one poster,
New York Magazine and later came up with the ‘I [heart] NY’ logo in a fit of inspiration in
the back of a taxi.
David Ogilvy. Founder of one of the most influential
advertising networks in the world, British born David Ogilvy’s ideas about the customer – from
testing to use of the vernacular – are still quoted and debated today. In his wise words: “The
consumer is not a moron. She is your wife.”
Mad Men begins on 27 March at 9pm on Sky Atlantic.