The Mad Men guide to advertising

Posted September 20, 2013, by Julia Watters

The glossy world of advertising has always fascinated and has long provided the backdrop for television shows and films. From ad execs Darrin Stephens in Bewitched to Heather Locklear’s Amanda in Melrose Place … but has anyone ever fascinated quite like Don Draper in Mad Men? Mad Men takes us deep into the complex, fast-changing and political world of advertising as it evolves through major changes in the industry and cultural landscape. Even though the series is set in the 1960s, plenty about agency life still rings true and is just as relevant today.

Pete is fairly ruthless when it comes to work and women. He’s a stereotypical, determined young businessman trying to cut his teeth in the industry and get ahead at any cost. His inflated sense of self acts as both a professional help and hindrance. Put yourself in any corporate environment and you are likely to find someone just like Pete. 

The office manager is a good person to befriend in any workplace and Joan is no exception. She has her finger on the pulse of everything that goes on and can help you find your feet, not to mention get you the good stationery. Office managers can wield a lot of power, so don’t underestimate them. 

The whiskeys, cigarettes, beehives and overt sexism may have vanished from modern advertising offices, but the characters and the work are still compelling. See the range of online advertising courses available so you, too, can enter this mad world. 

Julia Watters

Academy Xi
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