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On the Appropriateness of the Mad Men Poster

I'm not too sure how appropriate is this Mad Men poster #walkingtoworktoday

Last week I came across a poster advertising the premier date for this year’s season of Mad Men. I took a shot of it for my daily photo project and posted it to Flickr, Instagram and Twitter. My tweeted title was “I’m not too sure how appropriate is this Mad Men poster”. Thinking nothing more of it I continued with my day and shooting more images each morning. A couple days later I went back to the photo and noticed a spike in traffic to the photo. A couple blogs had used the image in posts talking about it. Looking at the comments from the posts it’s interesting to see the eclectic points of view. In some respects it shows how people view events differently depending on location, personal history and how they interact with pop culture and the news. Personally I wasn’t offended as much as I was questioning why Mad Men would want to associate a campaign with that image considering the city I’m in and past events. I completely understand that it’s from the opening credits. What triggered my question more than anything was that 2011 was the ten year anniversary of 9/11. I saw a lot of programs about it. More so than any other year. Soon as I saw the ad I thought of this video clip from 9/11 Attacks – 102 Minutes That Changed America from the History Channel. In the clip a couple NYU students film the towers just after the explosion. A couple minutes in they talk about seeing people jumping.

My biggest question would be to the agency that made the ads. First I’m curious to know if they’re even in NYC. The second question would be is if they felt that there could be any conotations of the jumpers and if they felt that it would bring possible negativity to the Mad Men brand? Ultimately the ads are out there, it’s not like I’m not going to watch the show because of them but I thought it was worth pointing out that the conversation about the appropriateness of them was worth talking about.


Mad Men Opening Credits




WIKIPEDIA: The Falling Man

WIKIPEDIA: The Falling Man is a photograph taken by Associated Press photographer Richard Drew, of a man falling from the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 9:41:15 a.m. during the September 11 attacks in New York City. The subject of the image—whose identity remains uncertain but is speculated as being that of Jonathan Briley, who worked in a top-floor restaurant—was one of the people trapped on the upper floors of the skyscraper who apparently either fell as they searched for safety or jumped to escape the fire and smoke. As many as 200 people fell or jumped to their deaths that day;[1] there was no time to recover or identify those who were forced out of the buildings prior to the collapse of the towers. Officially, all deaths in the attacks except those of the hijackers were ruled to be homicides due to blunt trauma[2] (as opposed to suicides), and the New York City medical examiner’s office stated that it does not classify the people who fell to their deaths on September 11 as “jumpers”: “A ‘jumper’ is somebody who goes to the office in the morning knowing that they will commit suicide… These people were forced out by the smoke and flames or blown out.




Clip from 9/11 Attacks – 102 Minutes That Changed America from the History Channel.





COPYRANTER: The “Mad Men” season 5 teaser poster is macabre.

From Copyranter: If you know the show, you smile at the inside joke. If you don’t know the show, you Google “March 25″ and maybe you guess what it is or maybe you think March 25th is National Commit Suicide Day and you start the search for the perfect building to throw yourself off of. Or, if you see it in NYC, you think of the Fallen Man.




WETPAINT: New Mad Men Poster Sparks 9/11 Controversy: Is the Ad Insensitive?

From Wetpaint: Here’s something we never thought we’d say: Mad Men’s new Season 5 promotional poster has upset people because it reminds them of 9/11. Really.




Crushable: Mad Men‘s Season 5 Poster Criticized For Looking Like Tragic 9/11 Photograph

From Crushable: It seems as if AMC is going the ultra-subtle role in promoting season 5 of Mad Men, set to premiere on March 25: Michael Surtees uploaded this photo to his Flickr, the first official poster… and it doesn’t even mention the show’s title. The network is relying on true fans to recognize a) the typeface in the date and b) more importantly, the iconic image of a man tumbling through white space. After all, the much-applauded opening sequence concludes with the little black-and-white Don Draper falling alongside full-building ads, only to be OK and smoking a cigarette in his favorite armchair.

But so far, the response has been to assume that this poster is hinting at a depressing season 5. Ology makes the argument for someone’s suicide; the lack of any other visuals makes me want to agree.




PEREZ HILTON: Mad Men Teases Us With This Poster!!

From Perez Hilton: In the truest of fashion, Mad Men has once again teased us with this new mysterious poster!




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