Saturday, September 20, 2008

Twittering Mad Men


Wayne and I have been engaged in a bit of interesting anachronism this week. Pretty much all of the characters from AMC's Mad Men are on Twitter where they post microblog updates on their activities.

It's possible to send them messages, and to receive messages, and there are little stories or characters touches that are playing out.

Most notable is the quiet desperation of Betty Draper (January Jones on the show). She's the wife of Don Draper (Jon Hamm) philandering creative director of Madison Avenue ad agency Sterling-Cooper. That's one of the best known TV ad firms since McMahon and Tate, I suppose.

I sent Don a message. Twitter posts note how the person conveyed his message, whether it's the web or mobile device.

Don's are being posted from the web, so I asked how he was managing that from 1961. He messaged back to note he was living in 1962. My bad. Should have remembered all the Jackie O references from the show.

Lots of companies are using Twitter to push out information to their employees, and I'm sure there are more TV shows at work but Mad Men makes for interesting interaction.

It's probably more added fun for current viewers than it is a conduit to attract new ones, but it's certainly an interesting use of Web 2.0 for enterprise, and it's certainly fun to join the Mad Ave boys for after dinner drinks, especially on a week like this. Their world was on the brink of drastic change just like ours is. We all live in interesting times.

Now, let me get back to check out what Joan Holloway is up to.

13 comments:

Dr Greta Guttman said...

My mentor, Alfred Adler, would have much to say about this phenomenon.

Charles Gramlich said...

I watched an episode of this last week and thought it was pretty good. Definitely accurate about the littering of the time.

I still remain off twitter

Sidney said...

Yeah, I saw that one with the littering. They just picked up the picnic blanket and shook it off and left everything.

I can remember anti-littering campaigns kicking in when I was a kid.

R2K said...

: )

Stewart Sternberg said...

You know, I think it would be a fascinating thing for people to interact with the characters on their favorite shows, beyond just MadMen. Can you imagine the postings that would go back and forth between Lt. Sulu of the Enterprise and numerous fans? What about Kolchak, journalist extraordinaire? Or Buffy? Of Alan and Denny? What about the women from Desperate Housewives? I think what terrifies me are all those people who would step outside reality and start thinking of these characters as real in a scary sort of way

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I had forgotten that littering scene, but recalled gaping at it last Sunday. I believe the MAD MEN interns or whomever are writing the posts just as they update blogs, etc., with Twitter being the newer thing. I recall when MONK first advertised blogs and I haven't looked to see if any characters are on Twitter. Charles, I was mostly screwing around with Twitter during the time I waiting for Comcast to repair the phones and cable three separate times. Before this week, I might've posted three times. Stewart, Abe Vigoda has a Twitter account, but he just reminds everyone he is still alive. MM seems to be the only show that has taken most every character and keep them in character. Too bad there couldn't be a group from Hill Street Blues or, hell, 77 Sunset Strip.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Oh, and Stewart, I made that point to "Don Draper," saying that when working in advertising, one can easily confuse reality with... reality. Maybe other shows just haven't seen Twitter as a marketing tool like some small press publishers have, but I can see the fact that it is a show about product-placement, so there you go...

Steve Malley said...

I gotta get on that Twitter with y'all. One a these days...

Capcom said...

Even though I'm un-twittered as yet, I would love to Twitter the "Mod Squad"! Or twitter the guys tooling down "Route 66". :-)

Maybe even also Captain Kangaroo.

Erik Donald France said...

Awesome.

And glad to see Mad Men won an Emmy for Best Drama.

1962 it is!

(We have another Cuban crisis on the way soon?)

sketchgrrl said...

I didn't even know that Mad Men's characters were ON twitter until I got an e-mail tonight announcing that Peggy Olson (the only female copywriter among Mad men's characters) was following me. I immediately went and signed up to follow her. But why stop there? I am also now following Don Draper, his wife, Betty Draper, and Paul Kinsey (the agency's senior copywriter, if I remember his title correctly). I wouldn't have signed up to follow Paul Kinsey, but he started following me, and I find his tweets most interesting as a behind the scenes glimpse into his character. It tells me things I don't know about the dynamics between the characters just from watching the show.

The fact that the characters are on twitter is a real bonus for Mad-Men-starved fans like me, who don't want to have to wait an entire week to see a new episode (or two weeks, in the case of tonight's rerun because of the Emmy's).

And yes, charles gramlich and sidney, I loved that detail about the Drapers shaking off their picnic blanket and leaving the litter on the park lawn. It spoke volumes.

And yes,stuart sternberg, how I wish that Boston Legal's Alan Shore were a twitterer, especially since BL is entering its final season. (Could it be that he is and I don't know?)

And yes, wayne allen sallee, it's a great match that a show about an ad agency that does product placement would use twitter as product placement.

I wrote to Peggy Olson that as an idea person, I probably should have become an advertising copywriter, except that as an idealist, I have to do work I believe in. (And she wrote back to me with a response that was very true to her character.) I mention this only to say that although I'm too idealistic to work in advertising, I love that TV shows are using twitter to promote themselves. It's a type of advertising that finally makes great sense, because it honors the viewers in ways that ads never can.

Sidney said...

Sounds like some interesting interaction. My wife and I are about a week behind on Mad Men so we had a new episode to watch last night. Next week we'll be caught up, I guess.

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