During the dog food focus group Sterling Cooper stages for Caldecott Farms in The Gypsy and the Hobo, Peggy says an interesting thing. When asked why the man conducting the interviews with the test subjects isn’t wearing a lab coat, she states that dogs “don’t like uniforms.”
There had to be some other significance to the remark. I’m sure that Peggy wasn’t citing a real 1960’s study which demonstrated that canines had an adverse reaction to uniforms. Okay, maybe she was. But it seems like more than a passing remark.
Following Peggy’s comment, there’s a quick exchange between Don and Smitty which establishes that, when describing some object (in this case their dog), people in focus groups are really describing themselves. So, in effect Peggy was saying that people don’t like uniforms.
This could refer to to Don and Roger. Outwardly, they both seem proud of their military experience. But Don only signed up to get away from an unhappy home and bailed the first chance he got. And, according to Annabelle Mathis, Roger was in the process of finding himself when the war forced him into another direction. So, one could argue that neither of them TRULY liked their uniforms.
Read a different way, this may be foreshadowing of what will soon be the general rejection by protesters over the “establishment.” One of the focus group participants even says “when people protest, I’m on board.” Often, that unrest took the form of railing against those in uniform such as soldiers and the police. In Mad Men‘s universe, these events will soon be televised nightly into everyone’s living rooms. Many will react like Don at the Caldecott Farms focus group and just want someone to turn the damn thing off.