Original Mad Men

Advertising agencies populated by cynical young men who drink martinis and chase girls, but still find the time to come up with a brilliant idea to keep the client happy. These ad men use suspected psychological tricks to hook customers for their clients, completely disregarding public opinion of good taste in the U.S.

The rise in advertising was due in part to the changes in shopping habits since WWII. Traditional salesmen had nearly disappeared but product promotion needed to be done before the customer entered the store.

The reality was a precarious enterprise. A successful campaign could lead to a fortune — a failed campaign, to ruination. In the ’50s, a car manufacturer like Buick might spend up to $24 million a year on advertising and an agency’s fee could easily command 15 percent of that budget. Big companies could quickly hire and fire advertising agencies, so the stakes were high and the competition between rival firms was intense. [Via: mashable.com]

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