Mad Men Season 5 Advertising: Good Idea/Bad Idea

Our first specimen is this sharp piece of iconography:

It bothered some people as a 9/11 reference, but I think most longtime viewers have long since been rewired to think Falling Guy In a Tie = Don Draper.

Plus the minimalism gave rise to a ton of awesome subway artists rejiggers, leaving us with Gothamist’s delightful round up of the 32 Best Mad Men Subway Hacks. My personal favorites are the one where he’s falling in and out of a portal, and the one where Superman is darting in to save him.

And then there’s this one.








…which Basket of Kisses called gorgeous, and somebody in my subway objected to enough to tear off the strip of sticky poster where the mannequin’s breasts are (leaving a weird gourd shaped window into the movie poster underneath). I kind of don’t know what to make of it. At first I was just thinking “That’s rude…” but then I figured I might as well keep thinking.

If Don were looking in at a traditional domestic scene, MannequinDon in his slippers and Betty 2.0  MannequinMegan in a fluffy little lingerie, and OutsideTheWindowDon all detached and longing, that would have made sense and nobody needed to be MannequinObjectified. If it’s a commentary on the way Megan is willing to be laid bare and Don is sitting all emotionally clothed and complacent then sure (but why did the mannequin have to be that naked?). Or if Don’s domestic life is just hollow and he’s still unable to connect (which is a given), then I get it…

But I’m still not completely sold on the idea that you can depict misogyny or objectification of the female form and neither endorse nor condemn it. Objectification is still a political act, whether you’re doing it to yourself or doing it to someone else. This ad is making a statement about the presence of women on the Mad Men stage or in the life of Don Draper in a way previous ads (that featured Don’s Sillhouette, Don in a Crowded Terminal, Don Sitting While His Office Floods and Don Standing) have not.

And I guess we’ll just have to wait and see exactly what that statement is. April 25. Two Hour Premiere. Be there or be square, bishes.

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