Tag Archives: Mad Men

Mad Men season 7 – how we are introduced to the latest “Don” – he’s gone electric!

Are you a fan of Mad Men? Have you enjoyed how the characters have changed over the years?

 

My wife and I are massive fans of the show. We’ve been away on a family beach vacation so when we got home we had to catch up with the latest Mad Men season.

Do you also love the first episode of  a new season?

How characters are re-introduced and how our first encounters with the characters:

1. quickly remind us of where we left the characters

2. set the scene for the world they are living in now. What’s the same? What’s changed?

 

As  a real  “cinema nerd”, I’ll often just enjoy a scene on first viewing – then go back and analyse the scene – the symbolism, angles, blocking of a shot etc.

 

I loved how we were introduced to Don in the latest series. Did you notice these things too?

MM shave

 

 

1. Don is freshening up (looks like it’s in a plane bathroom – confined and cramped)

2. In previous eps, Don enjoys a more leisurely old-school soap and lather shave. In series 7 he is moving with the times and using an electric razor.

Don-Draper-Shaving

3. Don usually moves at his own pace – in the direction he wants to go. We see him on a “travellator”  passively getting taken along by circumstances.

4. Sunny LA. I love the sun-soaked shot for when we see Don stepping out into California.  I imagine the shooting was timed to make the most of the (low angled) sun reflecting in the shiny cars etc. It’s dazzling!

MM sunny LA

That’s Megan getting out of the shiny sportscar. Usually Don is in the driver seat. Once again, he seems a “passenger” in this scene. As the scene ends you hear the sound of the car driving off and a plane engine (reminds me of the start to Back in The USSR by The Beatles) Movement, motion, power, “modernity”!

retro luggage

 

As a retro fan, I love the effort that goes into recreating the look for Mad Men – especially the retro props.

I’m a huge fan of retro luggage and love collecting and using “vintage” jet-setting luggage!

New vintage luggage

 

As Don would say: You’re not selling luggage – you’re selling mobility!

The world is moving so fast around him – I wonder if he’ll be able to keep up!

 

Any other things you notice or take out of the latest series? Please share in the comments section below.

Oh, I better go get a coffee. I also love the changing logos at the ad firm  – especially the funky colours and fonts on the “current” SCP coffee mugs!

SCP mug

 

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I was first introduced to Mad Men by young advertising creative teams I was helping in Melbourne. Their US colleagues showed them episodes BEFORE the show aired in Australia.

TBMMCW.001

 

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I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious business communication tips.

@tonybiancotti

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These days, lots of people and organisations need help with how to COPE with too much work, too much information, too many meetings, delivering difficult news, business writing, effective e-mail, e-mail overload, cross-cultural communication etc. I like to help people COPE.

TBCope.001

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How advertising helped “kill” the handkerchief – great “retro” ads and lessons in persuasion

Do you love those retro ads?  I love the art work – and the persuasion techniques.

retro kleenex

Woo hoo – this tissue “meets you half way!” AND they come out one at a time. You prevent waste and  hence less waste – hence you save money!

Many (now) RETRO  ads are about things we take for granted these days – yet at the time these things  like Kleenex Tissues were considered revolutionary and  high tech and so full of customer benefits! Even the name sounded modern with the K and the X.

This post is linked to a previous post about a how earlier generations were brought up (and almost “indoctrinated”) into carrying handkerchiefs.

I remember carrying a hankie was part of your check list as you went off to school.

When you got to school you suffered “authorised ridicule” if you did NOT have a hankie – and you had to produce proof that you were carrying a hankie!

handkerchief fathers day gift

One reader from Australia in response to the post remembered how at school he and his classmates were “encouraged” to always remember to carry a handkerchief.

“the song we had to sing in the classroom (grade 2) during which we were required to produce our handkerchiefs and wave them in time with the song…it ended ‘unless I have my handkerchief, I’m, not, dressed’, and offenders had to stand on their chair!

It’s interesting – because while schools were “encouraging” kids to bring hankies – there were counter forces at work “encouraging” people to not use handkerchiefs – but instead to use tissues.

TBMMCW.001

As a big fan of Mad Men – I love “studying” the persuasion techniques of retro ads.  Mind you these ads pre-date the Mad Men TV show era.

I am not connected with Kleenex in any way! Or handkerchief manufacturers,

O.K.  – so how did advertising agencies sell the idea of the superiority of tissues over handkerchiefs?

kleenex cold

According to this ad (and many like it) – if you are not using kleenex you are putting a cold in your pocket! Ewwwww!!

With Kleenex you get rid of the cold when you get rid of the tissue.

I note the encouragement/suggestion to buy a box for every room in the house.

O.K. – but what if people argue: well why don’t I just use handkerchiefs and wash them?

Oh – here’s why!

kleenexAd don't wash hankies

Dramatic huh!?

I love the other advantages to tip the scale –

– daintier than handkerchiefs

– costs less than laundering

– applying and removing cosmetics

I hope you enjoyed this retro ad persuasion “analysis”. I love this stuff as it combines my “passion” for retro and my “profession” and a persuasion and presentation trainer and consultant.

I was brought up to be a handkerchief guy. I occasionally use tissues – but I always carry a hankie.

Maybe it was all that ridiculing at school that ingrained my behaviour! 🙂

Here’s a link to the earlier post about hankies:

https://sentimentalasanything.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/as-a-kid-were-you-forced-to-always-carry-a-hankie-what-other-memories/

—————-

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

Twitter 

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can click to follow this blog.

Cheers,

Tony

How advertising helped “kill” the handkerchief – great “retro” ads and lessons in persuasion

Do you love those retro ads?  I love the art work – and the persuasion techniques.

retro kleenex

Woo hoo – this tissue “meets you half way!” AND they come out one at a time. You prevent waste and  hence less waste – hence you save money!

Many (now) RETRO  ads are about things we take for granted these days – yet at the time these things  like Kleenex Tissues were considered revolutionary and  high tech and so full of customer benefits! Even the name sounded modern with the K and the X.

This post is linked to a previous post about a how earlier generations were brought up (and almost “indoctrinated”) into carrying handkerchiefs.

I remember carrying a hankie was part of your check list as you went off to school.

When you got to school you suffered “authorised ridicule” if you did NOT have a hankie – and you had to produce proof that you were carrying a hankie!

handkerchief fathers day gift

One reader from Australia in response to the post remembered how at school he and his classmates were “encouraged” to always remember to carry a handkerchief.

“the song we had to sing in the classroom (grade 2) during which we were required to produce our handkerchiefs and wave them in time with the song…it ended ‘unless I have my handkerchief, I’m, not, dressed’, and offenders had to stand on their chair!

It’s interesting – because while schools were “encouraging” kids to bring hankies – there were counter forces at work “encouraging” people to not use handkerchiefs – but instead to use tissues.

TBMMCW.001

As a big fan of Mad Men – I love “studying” the persuasion techniques of retro ads.  Mind you these ads pre-date the Mad Men TV show era.

I am not connected with Kleenex in any way! Or handkerchief manufacturers,

O.K.  – so how did advertising agencies sell the idea of the superiority of tissues over handkerchiefs?

kleenex cold

According to this ad (and many like it) – if you are not using kleenex you are putting a cold in your pocket! Ewwwww!!

With Kleenex you get rid of the cold when you get rid of the tissue.

I note the encouragement/suggestion to buy a box for every room in the house.

O.K. – but what if people argue: well why don’t I just use handkerchiefs and wash them?

Oh – here’s why!

kleenexAd don't wash hankies

Dramatic huh!?

I love the other advantages to tip the scale –

– daintier than handkerchiefs

– costs less than laundering

– applying and removing cosmetics

I hope you enjoyed this retro ad persuasion “analysis”. I love this stuff as it combines my “passion” for retro and my “profession” and a persuasion and presentation trainer and consultant.

I was brought up to be a handkerchief guy. I occasionally use tissues – but I always carry a hankie.

Maybe it was all that ridiculing at school that ingrained my behaviour! 🙂

Here’s a link to the earlier post about hankies:

https://sentimentalasanything.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/as-a-kid-were-you-forced-to-always-carry-a-hankie-what-other-memories/

—————-

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

Twitter 

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can click to follow this blog.

Cheers,

Tony

As a kid were you “forced” to always carry a hankie? What other memories?

“Here, take my handkerchief.

 Never, at any crisis of your life, have I known you to have a handkerchief.” Rhett Butler: Gone With The Wind

gone-with-the-wind-movie

hankie1

 

 

Are you a fan of the humble hankie?

Were you were “taught” to always carry a hankie?

I’ve been thinking lots about hankies this week – partly because it’s winter and cold and flu season in Australia.

Also because I’ve been thinking about retro fashion as in one of my favourite shows Mad Men – and I’ve been thinking about the power of retro as businesses plan client gifts for Christmas.

Yes – I know that’s an interesting jumble of thoughts – but it all came out fine.

Please allow me to explain.

In a future post I will explain how advertising helped kill off the hankie and how the hankie is staging a stylish comeback.

In this post  -I’ll share some really cool views on the hankie from The Art of Manliness and reflections on how certain generations were “forced” to carry hankies.

This site is funny and informative:

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2009/03/26/every-man-should-carry-a-handkerchief/

Handkerchief AOM

What memories do YOU have of hankies?

I always remember when going to primary school – having a hankie was an essential part of your checklist.

Sometimes your bus money or tuck shop money was tied in the corner.

I also remember the cruel and unusual punishment dealt out in class if you didn’t remember your hankie.

Offenders had to stand up while he rest of the class pointed at them and sang the “Piggy Sniffle” song. (I haven’t thought about that in decades – maybe I’d blocked out the painful memories!) I can’t remember the words – just the mocking faces and pointing fingers!

When did such a punishment stop in schools? Were you a victim of the cruel Piggy Sniffle punishment?

(I understand Piggy Sniffles also refers to swine flu in children)

handkerchief fathers day gift

Also a set of hankies was a standard Fathers Day gift! and still is for men of a certain vintage – probably once the young boys who were “forced” to carry handkerchiefs.

I also recall the satisfaction of being able to offer a nice clean handkerchief to others to help them. Maybe it was some deep desire to appear gallant like Rhett Butler as in the opening quote in this post.

I remember giving my handkerchief to crying women and to a male businessman stranger who had been sick in the street.  Probably still dragging him into work even though he was ill. I gave him my handkerchief to help him clean himself up.

If I was a single guy these days (and if I’d thought of it when I was single) – I’d have some cute message and my contact details on “give-away” handkerchiefs I’d hand to damsels in distress.

Probably I’d only get calls from dudes in distress I’d help.

TB hankie

I find the hankie also comes in handy on hot days – to wipe away the sweat  to look calm and collected for business meetings

Anyway, so many more ideas popping into my head for future posts – like the hankie as fashion statement and the hankie hat.

Gumbys hankies

Hadn’t thought about the hankie hat in decades either!

As the Art of Manliness explains – it’s important to note the difference between a handkerchief and a Mad Man style pocket square.

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

Twitter 

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can click to follow this blog.

Cheers,

Tony

Something I never thought I’d do – but I took a shine to the old-fashioned shoe shine stand

The other day I did something I never thought I’d do – but it ended up being fun. It was also the inspiration for I thought was a great idea for winning business and attention.

I was visiting Sydney passing through the  Strand Arcade and I saw one of those old-fashioned shoe shine stands – you know the ones you often see in old American movies.

TB shoe shine

It seemed to be a very “American” thing.

ShoeshineStand

Now, maybe it was my old-school Australian egalitarian spirit – but I always felt reluctant at getting someone else to shine my shoes while I just sat there. I felt guilty and uncomfortable at the idea.

It’s strange – I was OK with getting my shoes taken away and shined as part of a hotel service to prepare for some important business meeting – but the idea of me just sitting there like “Lord Muck” while someone was at my feet shining my shoes seemed “wrong to me”.

I’m not saying my view was right – I’m just being honest about how I felt.

Anyway, this day was different. I was wearing my favourite old Doc Marten shoes that I’d bought back in the 1980s  -and they could have used some “professional” shining attention. I love my Docs. They are more than just shoes!

TB docs

So I tried the shoe shine stand. My decision had nothing to do with the smiling young German girl who was shining the shoes. Honestly!

We chatted about how she actually liked her shoe shining job because it was no stress – “No Worries Mate” she joked.

Also, shining shoes was  a pleasant change from her professional “office” job back in Germany. She said she liked talking to people too.

shoe shine 2

The experience reminded me of how many business execs also enjoy going to an old-school barber – as a break from the pressure of your usual business demands. There is something relaxing and calming about the ritual. You have an excuse to just sit and chat. Also some people just like “looking sharp” with shiny shoes.

I love this inventive production-line shoe shine approach in this retro ad:

shoe_shine_merry_go_round

As I was getting my shoes shined, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea! – what a great way to get the attention of business people you wanted to talk to about business.

You could get some professional shoe shiners to be at an event you host. Business people get their shoes shined and while you have their attention for the 5 or so minutes the shine takes – you can deliver your brief and natural sounding pitch.

You could even use old-school display boards (Mad Men style) rather than the PowerPoint presentations people see far too many of.

madmen pitch

I later researched this Prince Consort Shoe Shine Stand and I found out that they already DO offer a special corporate service service where they can attend your booth or space at an event or trade shows.

It’s apparently a good way to get people to visit an exhibit and (just as I thought) you have people’s attention for a few minutes.

I wonder what the equivalent experience would be for female execs and decision makers. 

If you have any ideas – please add in the comments section.

Do women’s shoes need “attention” of any kind? Fixing scuffs etc?

What about an executive foot massage – for males and females?

——————-

PC shoe shine

I am not in any way connected with the Prince Consort’s Shoe Shine Service – but I am more than happy to give them a plug.

I like it when there’s a triple bottom line – or in this case a triple bottom shine.

1. Business people get their shoes shined.

2. The people who book the shoe shiners get business exec’s attention

3. Shoe shiners get work

Trade_Show_shine

I no longer think that it is “un-Australian” to get your shoes shined at a shoe shine stand. I do however think it’s all about how you treat the shoe shiner – with respect as a person providing a service. I’ll get off my soap box (or shoe shine stand) now!

I found the experience to be actually enjoyable – and it can be good business with a triple bottom shine!

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I use the expression Triple Bottom Line generally to describe ventures where their are win-win-win situations taking into account extra dimensions rather than just profits.

John Elkington, “Towards the Sustainable Corporation: Win-Win-Win Business Strategies for Sustainable Development,” California Management Review 36, no. 2 (1994): 90–100.

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If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

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tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can click to follow this blog.

Cheers,

Tony

The benefits of the old-school “Mad Men shave”

The benefits of the old-school “Mad Men shave”

Don-Draper-Shaving

It’s funny how your attitudes change as you “mature” – how what  you once saw as old-fashioned and a waste of time can become an enjoyable ritual.

Take for example the old style of shaving – lathering up shaving soap on a brush.

shaving brush

When I was growing up that was something my granddad did. To me it seemed such a waste of time when you had fast and fancy shaving cream in a can!

Why bother? Get “with it” gramps!

The old–school style started to become fashionable again thanks to TV shows like Mad Men where Don Draper shaves using the old brush and lather technique.

For me, I love the slow-it-down ritual style of this old-school shaving style.

I wonder what the female equivalent of this male ritual is? Please share in the comments section if you have any ideas.

We are often so busy – rushing to get things done. It’s all about speed – rather than “soaking in the moment”.

I love slowing down for the shaving ritual.

Your whiskers get softer if you let them soak for a while and you get a better shave if you flow with smooth gliding movements rather than  fast and short “scrapes”

You should  try a slower shave and see what I mean. YOU can of course use shaving cream from a can – but the brush is even more old-school!

I look it as rebelling against the fast-paced rush rush rush world!

You are saying:  “This in MY time. I’m going to take my time. I will not be rushed!”

Sometimes you can shave in silence. Silence is something we don’t get enough of!

I shave in silence this sometimes –  and I find lots of creative ideas flood in during the “silence”

Other times I like to enjoy listening to the radio. Take your time  –  enjoy the moment!

shaving and radio

I even have my shaving ritual “kit” –  a notebook and pen to quickly capture ideas before they disappear  – and my modern yet  retro-looking radio!

And what about this great old retro ad – what better results are they talking about?!!

shavingold school

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If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

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tony biancotti

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Cheers,

Tony

Why you fell for the Madmen look?

madmenseas4artworkpic1

Sometimes you just look at  something and you dig it.  It’s love at first sight. You may not know why – but you fall in love with the look. It connects with something you already like – something deep inside you.

I must have been so influenced at a young age by posters for movies like Vertigo.

My mum worked as as movie  “usherette”  – so from an early age I’d be at the movies   absolutely love the movies, milkshakes and movie posters and great poster art work – like this:

Vertigomovie

Later when “I fell for” the music of the White Stripes I also loved the look and the art work.

I love the whole White Stripes music and culture package – links to retro but with a modern edge.(well modern for back then when they were big!) I still dig them.

Hardestbuttoncover

Then when Mad Men came out I fell in lust with the whole “look” of the show – including the opening titles and the Vertigo-inspired Art work.

When I was selecting a theme for this Sentimental As Anything blog I picked a theme that hooked my eye.

Today I bothered to look deeper and I found that the theme is inspired by the style of Saul Bass who created the Vertigo poster.

 

(I’ve since changed the theme!)

I wonder if Saul knew how influential his art style would become.

He  was probably just doing another design “job” – but what an impact!

I love working with creative advertising people – the word people and the art/design people.

It was a Melbourne advertising creative team that first “turned me on” to Mad Men – way back before the show came to Australia.

I was helping the creative teams improve their pitches.

The creative team members  were so excited about this new show coming out. They had seen the Mad Men look from their advertising connections in the US.

They too loved the whole Mad Men look. It was love at first sight!

TBMMCW.001

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

Twitter 

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

Or you can click to follow this blog.

Cheers,

Tony