Commentary Magazine

Mad Men, the Prequel

“Mad Men” is off the air. Personally, I bailed out in the second season and never looked back, no matter how many people told me to pick it up again (of the various things I should be doing more, watching television just isn’t on the list). But never mind me. For those of you who did watch the show (as opposed to the larger number of Americans who tuned in to a colorized “I Love Lucy” rerun on Sunday) this Throwback Thursday selection may help with the mourning process. In The Study of Man: Social Science on Madison Avenue, from the April 1957 issue of COMMENTARY, Walter Goodman looked at how the McCann-Erickson agency employed social science to create the perfect pitchman. As ever, enjoy.

The same psychology-flavored techniques which have enlivened the prune, revitalized Ry-Krisp, and broadened the appeal of Sanka coffee are presently being applied to a human being. He is William Lundigan, announcer for Climax! and Shower of Stars, two TV shows sponsored by the Chrysler Corporation.

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