‘Mad Men’: Was It Really So Drunken and Debauched Back Then?

When the fifth season of “Mad Men” begins Sunday, millions of fans will be watching faithfully, drawn to the portrait of the ’60s advertising world. The TV series’ creator, Matt Weiner, is so obsessive about portraying the era accurately that last week he reportedly pulled Dusty Springfield’s 1967 song, “The Look of Love,” from the premiere because it was released six months after the episode takes place.
But how true to the period is “Mad Men,” really? Perhaps no one watches more closely and critically than advertising execs and creatives. And the consensus is that while the workplace was not as libidinous and drunken as depicted on the show, the “Mad Men” stories are grounded in truth. “There was a concern about being able to produce top-notch work in the afternoon” after a lunch filled with martinis, says Jane Maas, a former advertising creative director and author of “Mad Women: The Other Side of Life on Madison Avenue in the ’60s and Beyond.”

“The drinking on “Mad Men” is a little bit exaggerated. We did not drink in the morning. And I don’t remember any senior male executives having liquor out on credenzas and tables in such a visible way. Most of the senior guys kept a bottle or two or three in their closets, and if we were working late, it was usual to pour a scotch.”

What about the rampant bed-hopping (and sexism) on “Mad Men”? Maas finds the show isn’t off base. She remembers, for instance, that at one agency, there was an annual “sex contest” — a blind vote to name a person at the agency who the staff would most like to go to bed with. (The first prize was a weekend at the Plaza Hotel. Second prize was a night at the Plaza. And third place winner got a night on the couch in the boss’ office.)

But now that the fifth season moves the cast into the late 1960s, what should we expect to see? In speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Maas also suggested that if the show’s creators want to stay true to an era, women and minorities need to be elevated at Sterling.

“They need to hire a few more copywriters or promote Peggy to assistant creative director,” she said, referring to the character Peggy Olson in response to a question about the lack of women in powerful positions on the show. “Or I predict she’ll leave to go to another agency or start her own.”

Still, ad execs who remember the era well say that the way Weiner’s show depicts the management of clients and accounts, so far, has been dead on. During an appearance on The New York Times talk series, Weiner recalled being approached about the topic by Bob Levinson, the former head of television at ICM, and a sometime adviser to the show, who said:

” ‘In 1960, I was on the Lucky Strike account at BBDO. Our office wasn’t as nice then, but do you have a time machine?”

At MindCorp we specialise in TV, Film and Post Production Branding. Click here to learn more.

Tom Cruise to star in Van Helsing reboot

Van Helsing was a big disappointment for Universal. Bringing together the likes of Dracula, the Wolfman and Frankenstein’s Monster, it should have been The Avengers of monster movies, but suffered an absolute mauling at the hands of the critics. Any ideas of a potential franchise were swiftly dead in the water.

However, Universal have now attached electrodes to Van Helsing‘s ruined corpse and are ready to flip the switch, with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci currently developing the script for an upcoming reboot.

Now, whilst that might not necessarily sound like a recipe for success, consider this: Tom Cruise is reportedly on board to produce the film, and apparently, he’s agreed to star in it as well.

Whether or not you’re a fan of Cruise’s screen presence, this does at least suggest that Universal are planning to do things properly this time around. Cruise generally runs a tight ship when he’s on production duties, so hopefully there will be none of the half-assedness that plagued the original.

The team-up with Kurtzman and Roberto represents part of the first-look deal agreed between Universal and the screenwriters, with the pair also set to breathe new life into The Mummy. Prepare to hide behind your sofas… monsters are on the rise once more.

At MindCorp we specialise in TV, Film and Post Production Branding. Click here to learn more.

Paramount Launching New Animated Division

The business deal that sees Paramount distributing the films of DreamWorks Animation is getting more complicated. That pact is set to expire on December 31, 2012, and while Paramount offered a one-year extension to DreamWorks Animation, Jeffrey Katzenberg declined and is looking for a different partner, and perhaps a sale.

But that’s OK, because Paramount is starting its own animation division, Paramount Animation, which will begin releasing one animated film per year beginning in 2014. This could be the beginning of a plan for a Rango sequel, but regardless, Paramount is getting into animation.

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Product placement: P logo stands for puzzled public

More than 90% of British adults do not recognise the symbol introduced this year – despite a TV campaign to flag up the issue

More than 90% of British adults do not recognise the product placement logo introduced to programmes earlier this year to warn viewers when an advertiser has paid a broadcaster to push its wares, according to research published on Monday.

The government relaxed rules around product placement in popular TV shows in February, which some believe could create a market worth as much as £100m a year. ITV’s This Morning immediately signed a deal with Nescafe to feature a coffee machine on its set.

As part of the relaxation of the rules broadcasters have to show a bold “P” logo before and after TV shows that involve product placement deals. A major TV campaign was run across the main broadcasters to raise awareness of the logo and the concept of product placement.

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At MindCorp we specialise in TV, Film and Post Production Branding. Click here to learn more.

Cineflix

Cineflix

The Brief.

We were commissioned to re-design Cineflix¹s corporate identity and re-position the company in light of various acquisitions and goals, as well as produce a comprehensive set of guidelines for all branches.

Cineflix wanted to show their identity as well as their way of innovation and forward thinking, across all the companies in the group. This was demonstrated through their identity, stationery, website, moving images and exhibition stands.

The Project.

Cineflix managed to gain a very high visibility within the market place.

Where they had been previously known for reputation alone, clients and competitors were now fully aware of what they stood for visually.

All PR and press material has shown that all work produced worldwide has followed the guidelines to such an extent that even though each branch has
their own name and accordingly different identities, the overall feel and look of the Cineflix brand can always be recognised and the connection between them is clear.

At MindCorp we specialise in TV, Film and Post Production Branding. Click here to learn more.

Ascent 142

Ascent 142

The Brief.

To create a dynamic identity which showcased 142 was a creative facility, not a corporate arm of the U.S. umbrella brand. To use the solution across all disciplines and to come up with innovative ways of communicating this new identity, new structure, new facility and new departments, both internally and externally. All communication needed to be co-ordinated between the UK and US offices with bi-weekly conference calls to L.A. and the agency to be responsible for all production and installation.

The Project.

We were given142 because Film House 142 Wardour St. has been synonymous with film and TV post production for many years. We developed a tagline, ‘the creative heart of Soho’ and decided to work with the numbers. We thought of underpinning the brand with 1000s of photos taken from all over the Soho area. 2 photographers then shot pictures for a week.
The feedback from the client has been tremendous and people still like to be photographed with the building as their backdrop. We changed the countdown clock and delivered it as a screensaver for Mac and PC and it is proving immensely popular.

At MindCorp we specialise in TV, Film and Post Production Branding. Click here to learn more.

Are you ready for the markets?

Mindcorp has fresh ideas for the markets.

As a digital design agency specialising in TV, Film & Post Production, we are offering you a free KIT on how to make your new programmes look even fresher:

  • Create and execute advertising campaigns for social media to reach thousands of people in just one click.
  • Get a bespoke campaign site for online and offline screening *iphone/ipad compatible.
  • Create a campaign that enables activity and dialogue through social networking sites
  • Use exciting campaign tactics to create a buzz.

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At MindCorp we specialise in TV, Film and Post Production Branding. Click here to learn more.