This week's issue of Advertising Age carries an excerpt from my wee book, Raised By Mad Men. Here's a taste of the Ad Age excerpt, which focuses on my mother:
She and other writers began to produce examples of advertising that harmonized with the voice of the creative revolution.
She did a safety ad for General Motors, showing a macho truck driver smoking a cigarette and drinking coffee. “Harry never drives more than two hours without stopping. Harry must be a sissy.”
“New York’s great,” began her recruiting ad for [Detroit ad agency] Campbell-Ewald, “but it’s so far away from everything.”
For Boeing Jetliners, she tried to promote far-away vacations: “There’s just one trouble with taking the same vacation every year: you’re always the same person when you get back.”
“Red China doesn’t interrupt the late, late show with a bunch of commercials,” read the copy over a photo showing Chinese peasants stooping in a rice paddy. “But then, Red China doesn’t have a late, late show.”
And she wrote an ad in 1964 for an unspecified client. “If you feel sure civil rights is moving fast enough,” began the headline over a grainy black-and-white photograph of a racially ambiguous child in a crib, “try to imagine your children waking up Negro tomorrow morning.”
When I say that headline out loud, I get choked up. Not because of the obvious virtue of the cause, but because of the honest intention, to communicate.
I spend so much time seeing that the character of my parents lives on through my daughter. It's damned cool to pass on just a bit of their magic dust into the world, for the benefit of whomever happens to find it groovy.