April 13, 2010
 

"Let's Have Lunch..."

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Nice Guys Finish Last!

Last week's episode teaches us that politics, oysters, broken elevators and puking your lunch out in front of your client may actually be good for your career. Next thing you know they'll be putting Men-In-Red-Braids into ads to generate some appetite appeal.

It's food for thought in light of what lies ahead for Don Draper this week in Episode #8 of MAD MEN. One of our friends suggests, "Forget Nixon. Don Draper for President". He's got a point; Don would never deny that he's a crook.

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On this week's Official MAD MEN Site, you'll find Jon Hamm and Vincent Kartheiser talking in real life about the characters they play. They're nice guys. But when they're in front of the camera all dressed in Brooks Brothers we see how clear it is where nice guys normally finish on Mad Ave. We can't help but wonder though which side of the camera do they really play themselves.

Is it the SOB at Sterling Cooper or the Ron Howard-like professional on the set? The cynic in us wonders just how they got leading parts on America's hottest prime time cable soap if they really are as sweet and sincere as Richie Cunningham.

Check out the preview HERE as Don proves his worth that condescending to the client wins you a fat, juicy bonus. Pete proves the same as his career flies up the elevator bank as he's taking credit for the young cute copywriter's work that he was sleeping with. We watch a master at work in this episode as he sweet talks her after the meeting on his office sofa.

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AMC Blogs are hotter than ever as the heat increases with each click. The rumor is that Peggy has more than just butterflies in her belly for Pete. Virtually every shot and angle of this program is being analyzed to pieces. That may be by design since every episode does its own post game wrap-up from Matthew Weiner.

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"The Little People"

"Let's have lunch" is the classic bromide account execs once/still do use to politely flatter and condescend to the B or C-level players in the office. That is, those who don't get much trigger time on the screen or in the conference room, for that matter on the set or in real life. If the grunts do get taken out these days, it's not to the stylish Nobu or the Four Seasons. It's to Wendy's. The irony of course is that what allows execs to dine at all in fashionable restaurants these days is to use trashy advertising to sell trashy food. You've got to have the stomach for it.

For example, these days Wendy's CMO and Don Draper look-alike, Ian Rowden is giving the daughter of Wendy's restaurants founder, Dave Thomas an upset stomach by driving thru and running over the old folksy advertising campaign that marked Wendy's success for so many years. It's your standard super-sized ego behind-the-counter ad campaign food-fight taking place out on the pages of the Wall Street Journal.

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However, the big new is that Dave Thomas, Wendy's founder wasn't quite as much the nice guy as he seemed in front of the camera. For example the folksy heart-warming myth about naming the company after his daughter Wendy, complete with the little red-headed cartoon logo was not named Wendy after all. Her name is Melinda Lou!

We feel queasy. Which way is the bathroom?

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