Duke's Hartman Center Uses 'Mad Men' To Explore Ad History

May 4, 2013

AMC’s new Mad Men season debuted in April and has a lot of people talking. Locally, it’s creating a buzz at the Hartman Center, part of Duke's Rubenstein Library which specializes in advertising and marketing history. The center is an international resource for all things ad-related, and their archives are full of the sort of ads seen on Mad Men. In fact, the AMC show even consulted with them earlier this year to ask about the program for the 1968 ANDY Awards, which was featured in last week’s episode.

Hoping to have a little fun and also provide some historical context for the ads seen on the show, the Hartman Center decided to run a weekly column on their blog called “Mad Men Mondays.” In it, they recap the show, note any marketing references, and post a variety of images of ads from their archive that correspond to references made on the episode. Jacqueline Reid Wachholz, director of the Hartman Center, says that the weekly hunt for Mad Men material “has become a regular Monday morning activity” there. In the past, they’ve dug up references to Heinz ketchup, Dow Chemical, Sheraton Hotels in Hawaii, Jaguar, Avon, and other companies mentioned in Mad Men.

Starting Monday, WUNC will make the “Mad Men Mondays” column available on wunc.org, along with the archival ad images that the Hartman Center finds. If you’d like to read their previous Mad Men Mondays columns, you can find them here:

The Hartman Center also maintains an image gallery of all the historical ads they’ve posted in reference to Mad Men episodes on their Pinterest and Flickr pages.