Tuesday, July 5, 2011

There's a little Jon Hamm in all of us.

       Jon Hamm, who plays me in the TV show "Mad Men", seems to be having a lot more fun than I had.

       We did have some colorful people in the agencies I worked for. There was the writer who always  had a spare overcoat hanging in his office, so no one would detect that he routinely left around 2:30 with his real coat hidden under his sweater. And the associate creative director who sent out a memo re-naming his whole group after the pretty young writer he was smitten with.

        There was the art director who, when presented with his "10 years of service" trophy, simply threw it in the waste basket, grabbed his jacket, walked out of the agency and never returned.And the secretary who couldn't type the client's hyphenated name because, she said, the hyphen key had fallen off her keyboard. Then there was the mat-room apprentice who cut off his thumb with an Xacto knife. He ran out to the elevators screaming, "Don't worry --- I didn't get any blood on the layouts!" ( We were in the General Motors building and the GM company doctor sewed the thumb back on. When the bandages came off weeks later we all discovered a slight mistake. The thumb was sewn on backwards.)

        There were many more individuals, but with all the goings on, we were pretty serious about our profession. We  showed up at meetings on time, and never failed to have our work in hand. We didn't drink in our own offices, rarely flirted before 5, and always met deadlines no matter how unreasonable. When we got an assignment we were our own worst critics and sweated it out till we had something we could be proud of. If you "couldn't think of anything" you had to start thinking about getting a new job.

        As a creative director, I always told the group they had two weeks on every assignment; one week of play time to fool around with crazy ideas, and one week of serious time to put the crazy ideas to work.

        Advertising and marketing aren't at all like "Mad Men". They're more like working for a living.




  1. Great post! I sense jealousy.

    Thank goodness Mad Men isn't a documentary, but instead, a drama. Otherwise, despite your fantastic stories, it wouldn't bring ratings...

    With blogs you invite all forms of feedback. So, to be clear, John Hamm is actually Jon Hamm. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Hamm

  2. You should have a TV show! I love these stories.