Peggy needs to feel it

 Posted by on May 20, 2014 at 5:05 am  Mad Men, Season 2, Season 7, Themes
May 202014

One of the interesting elements of The Strategy was the fact that Peggy’s final concept for Burger Chef, her epiphany, would become one of the concepts upon which late 20th Century advertising was based: presenting modern life as it is, less than perfect, rather than sticking to an idealized (and unrealistic) notion of who we are.

Peggy’s pitch implied, it’s okay if Dad isn’t home by 5:15 and Mom doesn’t have a homemade meal waiting on the table. That approach should be familiar to anyone with eyes and a television under the age of 65. What I’d like to find out, however, is whether Burger Chef bought it. Agency Creatives, remember, are socially progressive. They see trends and know where our culture is going. In 2014, brand heads know enough to take their creative agency seriously when they pitch a counter-intuitive (read: radical) idea. Still, even today, brands, especially mainstream “family” brands, are notoriously conservative and not known for progressive thinking in general.

I know nothing about the social values of Burger Chef’s real-life marketing team in 1969, but I bet there were more Lous working there than Dons or Peggys. It would be a real challenge for Peggy, and I imagine for Don too, to sell something this new and different to a client. We’ve seen them each be successful selling new ideas, and we’ve seen them fail too.  It would be enough to severely test Don’s sage advice to Peggy way back in Season 2: You … feeling something.  That’s what sells.


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