I walked through Paley Center’s 52nd Street revolving doors last Sunday night and spun right into the 1960’s.
Hello, Madison Avenue!
For fans of the primetime sensation, Mad Men, Paley’s Season 5 Premiere Party was an event to remember. Between the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce-themed red carpet, era-appropriate cocktails and Mad Men swag – courtesy of media partner TV Guide – ‘twas a great night and good time all around.
In true Draper form, the men were looking slick, sporting three piece suits, fedoras, tie bars, freshly shined kicks, and oh yes…token glasses of Maker’s Mark. But the real stars of the evening were the ladies – clad in their best pumps, bold red lipstick, faux slim cigs and little plaid dresses with hemlines that would make Joan Harris proud.
After mingling by the bar and snacking on hors d’oeuvres, the party progressed to the theatre for the main event.
The crowd was extremely participatory during the screening – applauding when the theme music began and cheering/catcalling as each main character reprised their role throughout the episode. During the breaks, TV Guide Magazine’s Matt Roush (Senior TV Critic) and Carol Dittbrenner (Features Director) quizzed the audience with trivia questions covering fun facts dating back to the show’s debut in 2007. Additionally, actual advertisements from the early sixties were screened in place of modern day commercials, adding to the ambiance of the evening and overall feel of the show.
A few of the vintage spots that were featured included ads for Lucky Strike Cigarettes, American Airlines, Clearasil, Cross Your Heart Lightly Padded Bras, and Kodak Flashcube.
For those who didn’t get to watch in real-time – or have yet to diminish their TiVo queue – I won’t spoil anything in regard to the storyline, but will definitely give Matthew Weiner a well-deserved nod for kicking season five off to a fantastic start!
For the ad buffs out there, see if you can catch the shout-outs to Y&R, the 4A’s, William Paley, and the obligatory “status meeting”. As an agency guy myself, I’ve always felt that Mr. Weiner does a wonderful job of paying homage to the industry, providing his audience with an authentic glimpse into the heritage of advertising.
Like every season before, I can’t wait to see what twists and turns Season 5 has in store for the partners of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.
Thank you to our friends at Paley Center for a phenomenal event, and the Mad Men Season 5 Premiere!
Be sure to check out the full slide show from the evening, at the main event page here.