21 August, 2009

Mad Men Yourself: Implications of the Swanky '60s Style Avatar Creation Site

This post is for anyone interested in Web 2.0 technology, trends in social media, graphic design, the TV series Mad Men, or marketing.

It appears I have a knack for finding new "[Insert Title Here] Yourself" services on the web. These Cartoon-Yourself, Yearbook-Yourself, Elf Yourself, and avatar generators let us show off our tweeting, friending, narcissistic selves as profile pictures without seeming the least bit vain (à la myspace). And darn they're fun to use.

The latest is AMC's "Mad Men Yourself," and this one has an interesting backstory.

In case you don't feel like reading my 20-page "Representing and Misrepresenting Yourself on Social Networks" report about online identity, a little background might help. Mad Men is a television series on AMC, now in its third season, which centers on the high-powered world of Madison Avenue advertising agencies in the 1960's. Think David Ogilvy.

The series quickly developed a following in both real and virtual settings, e.g. Twitter, because it appeals to agency/media/marketing people who also happen to be early adopters of Twitter and other social networks. A lot of these creative-types did some really neat things with the characters on the show, and AMC did some really stupid things and then took it back and a year later, wised up and created the following awesomeness, a perfect reflection of the "brand" that is Mad Men, and the "fans" such as Dyna Moe, who created the illustration for the site:

Skirt or Suit?

Congrats, AMC. You finally "got it," and your show is saved.

PS - Does the music remind anyone else of the old The Sims when you were in "buy" mode? Ahh elevator music. Never goes out of fashion.

PPS - Eight O'Clock Coffee gets a Brand + in my book for a perfect sponsorship deal:

Fueled by Eight O'Clock Coffee logo

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