WIMN’s Voices: A Group Blog on Women, Media, AND…

“Advertising hasn’t changed” since “Mad Men” –Hank Wasiak at #140Conf

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

April 20th, 2010

During his #140Conf solo speech “Why Madison Avenue Should Love Social Media - The Thoughts of a Mad Man Turned Twitterholic,” Hank Wasiak (@hankwasiak on Twitter), who describes himself as an “Author, TV Host, Ad Guy,” made one key point I want to share with you.

I find it is always quite useful to listen to what advertisers say when they believe they are in an audience in which everyone has already bought into the idea that we as citizens exist to be “partners” with marketers. In an environment in which advertisers think we all buy in to their idea that we should and do value the “opportunity” to collaborate with corporations who want to shill to us, you can often hear really revealing tidbits. To wit:

The advertising industry, Wasiak said, has not changed very much since the days depicted in the AMC drama “Mad Men.” It’s a continuum, he explained.

Now, Wasiak was referring to marketing strategy. Yet although he wasn’t addressing the institutional and political mindsets that guide advertising messages, his statement certainly applies on that level. In “Mad Men,” we see how the behind-the-scenes chavinism and bigotry of the white, male-dominated ad industry of 1960s directly affected the way women, people of color and gay people were portrayed within ad content… and the way ad content then shaped cultural perceptions.

Long-time WIMN’s Voices readers know that we pay keen attention to the commercial and ideological motivations of advertisers, and the effects of these over news and entertainment media content. When I hear Wasiak saying that advertising hasn’t changed very much since the “Mad Men” era, I skip right past his marketing pitch and move directly to the institutional mindset that, for just one example, continues to believe that employing images of gruesome violence against women is the most effective way to sell clothes, shoes, cars, reality show episodes, and more.

In my new book, Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, I make the same point Wasiak made here today — advertising really has not changed since the “Mad Men” era. Where Wasiak described the continuum of advertising’s tools of persuasion (from old-school ad buys to marketing in new media and technology platforms), I focus on the way the advertising industry — especially via stealth marketing throughout the reality TV genre — is hard at work attempting to revive regressive ideas about gender, race, class and sexuality, and to ensure that forty years of feminist, anti-racist social progress are generally unreflected in contemporary advertising imagery.

If you knew nothing about American life and American people other than what you learned from product-placement-driven “reality” television (think: “The Bachelor,” “Extreme Makeover,” “Flavor of Love,” etc.), you would have no idea that the women’s rights, civil rights and LGBT rights movements had ever taken place. Instead, you’d see a world whose “Father Knows Best” values mirror those of “Mad Men.”

20 Responses to ““Advertising hasn’t changed” since “Mad Men” –Hank Wasiak at #140Conf”

  1. adam regiaba
    September 20th, 2015 22:38

    First, let’s kill off a genuine fabrication: You are able to not use a reverse cellular telephone number lookup for completely no cost anyplace, anytime.

  2. adam regiaba
    September 20th, 2015 23:58

    jobs for high school students - Search for Jobs on our website, we provide several excellent links to the very best and biggest Portals to finding a Job as a high school student!

  3. sport and health
    September 30th, 2015 08:42

    I have recently started a web site, the information you offer on this web site has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time & work.

  4. séjour aux maldives tout inclus
    October 11th, 2015 12:23

    some thing distinctive. P.S Apologies

  5. Dr Nights Porn
    October 11th, 2015 19:03

    Hello there! Good post! Please inform us when all could see a follow up!

  6. fire damage repair
    October 12th, 2015 13:35

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!|

  7. lube
    October 13th, 2015 09:38

    I believe 1 of your ads triggered my internet browser to resize, you might want to put that on your blacklist.

  8. vaillance courtage
    November 14th, 2015 23:37

    Thank you for sharing with us, I conceive this internet site genuinely stands out : D.

  9. Stuart Mems
    November 16th, 2015 01:10

    I conceive you have remarked some quite interesting details , appreciate it for the post.

  10. evden is imkanlari
    November 16th, 2015 22:06

    Nice read. I just passed this onto a buddy who was performing some research on that. He just bought me lunch since I discovered it for him! Thus let me rephrase: Thanx for lunch!

  11. %26%231670%3B%26%231578%3B%26%2332%3B%26%231585%3B%26%231608%3B%26%231605%3B
    November 18th, 2015 00:49

    I’ve been surfing online greater than three hours these days, but I by no means found any interesting article like yours. It¡¦s beautiful value sufficient for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the net will likely be a good deal more beneficial than ever before.

  12. hacamat
    November 21st, 2015 22:50

    Within the other hand, no matter how nice being and treating any rig, ultimately it simple to see an incident within the location you should do any help controlling; but conditioned on how old you’re but physical exercise, with all the body for your caravan it really is a particularly excessive physical activity. motor movers

  13. triple play comcast
    December 5th, 2015 13:02

    Very good article. I will be dealing with some of these issues as well..|

  14. pranichealingmalaysia
    December 5th, 2015 23:02

    Some genuinely great information , Gladiola I detected this.

  15. %26%231492%3B%26%231506%3B%26%231497%3B%26%231512%3B%26%2332%3B%26%231492%3B%26%231495%3B%26%231491%3B%26%231513%3B%26%231492%3B
    December 6th, 2015 21:31

    I’ve been seeking about for an post like this. Took some time but finally found it… Really great read thanks. It’s been difficult to uncover the information I needed. I use this internet site for a good deal.

  16. ccc buty
    January 14th, 2016 07:06

    We provide you with a table of all of the emoticons that can be used on this application, and the meaning of each symbol. Though it might take some initial effort on your part, the skills garnered from regular and strategic use of social media will create a strong foundation to grow your business on ALL levels.

  17. odzyskiwanie danych gdansk
    January 23rd, 2016 22:43

    This design is steller! You clearly know how to maintain a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own weblog (properly, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I truly enjoyed what you had to say, and much more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  18. the disease
    February 3rd, 2016 01:11

    My friend mentioned to me your blog, so I thought I’d read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more!

  19. http://proteintabletter.top
    June 4th, 2016 09:00

    Just wanna admit that this is very useful , Thanks for taking your time to write this.

  20. learn colors
    April 29th, 2017 20:01

    Hello, always i used to check website posts here early in the break of day, because i love to learn more and more.

Leave a Reply