CLEVELAND--()--Booze, babes and big budgets. Many fans of the television series Mad Men might think that’s what advertising in the 1960s was all about. But, as David L. Stashower and some of Cleveland’s other advertising legends explained, the good old days of advertising involved much more.
“Is Mad Men really how it was like?”
“When They Were Mad Men,” the title of October’s AAF-Cleveland luncheon, featured a panel discussion amongst four original Cleveland Mad Men. Advertising legends Stashower (of Liggett Stashower), Bill Brokaw (of Brokaw, Inc.), Harvey Scholnick (of Marcus Thomas, LLC.) and Alan Glazen (of Glazen Creative Studios) took the stage to reflect on their advertising and marketing careers.
From jokes about getting fired to discussions of personal philosophies, Cleveland’s Mad Men spoke to a standing-room-only crowd of advertising and communications professionals at the DoubleTree in Downtown Cleveland. Addressing most people’s question – “Is Mad Men really how it was like?” – Stashower was quick to explain that, while most of the elements in Mad Men were a part of life in the business back then, they are heavily exaggerated in the show, “especially the drinking.”
Advertising in the 1960s, according to all of the speakers, relied on extreme dedication and passion for the creative concept. Brokaw expressed it really was all about the idea or, as Stashower put it, “the magic.”
Stashower also pointed out brand strategy is essential to success: “What we do is still a combination of art and science.”
There was no shortage of laughter and admiration from the audience as the panelists discussed their past client rosters. These Cleveland Mad Men worked with some of the biggest companies of their day. Brokaw created the “Ray Jay” spot for Natural Light beer, Scholnick rolled out campaigns for Gillette and Stashower’s team created the sales-boosting “Hey Mabel! Black Label!” tagline for Carling’s Black Label beer.
While some advertisers may worry that the glory years of the business are over, the panelists aren’t too concerned. Glazen expressed excitement for the future of the industry, and Brokaw and Scholnick reiterated the importance of finding and believing in those big ideas.
Stashower had the last word, giving everyone reassurance about the advertising industry.
“These are the good old days, and we’re in them,” Stashower said.
With its roots in advertising and public relations, Cleveland-based Liggett Stashower has grown to become one of the region’s largest communications firms. The agency’s specialty is launching products and ideas using a channel-neutral approach and has deep experience in the building products industry. For additional information, visit www.liggett.com.
AAF-Cleveland is Northeast Ohio’s premier resource for communications professionals. The association offers its nearly 400 members continuing professional educational opportunities, social activities, planned fundraising events, a networking luncheon speaker series plus much more. For additional information, visit www.aafcleveland.com or contact Sharon Toerek at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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