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When not focusing on its various characters’ existential nightmares and breakdowns, Mad Men is about the creation and manipulation of a reality based on coded words and imagery, aimed to sell a dream that just so happens to require a very specific consumer product to make reality. In that sense, Newsweek‘s new cover, which celebrates the show’s return, is a sort real-life actualization of the show’s fictional world; Don Draper and company spend their time creating ads for the magazine in the show, and now here they are, on the front of the book.
The new issue, which dives deep into the conservative, pre-culture shift 1960s consumer world of the show, features a cover story about the Emmy-winning show and ads for modern day companies designed in the style that Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce might have produced. And to offer up proof that the show is quite accurate in its portrayal of advertising culture, they also highlight many of the cigarette ads, the likes of which the fictional characters created.
Eleanor Clift, who wrote the cover story, worked at Newsweek in the 1960s and attests to the show’s accuracy.
“Mad Men gets the gender stratification of the time right, along with the prevalence of smoking, the heavy drinking culture, and a fair amount of sleeping around,” she writes. “That was certainly the case at Newsweek In the ’60s among the married writers and editors and the young single women hired to become researchers, then considered “a really good job for a woman.”
In the grand tradition of the show’s marketing focus, the stars of the show, along with creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner, have been making a plethora of public appearances to sell the March 25 return date.
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Behind The Screen