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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, fun and Informative
This book does what it says on the cover. It is about real people in a vibrantly real world re-inventing the advertising of late 50s & 60s America.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Andrew Cracknell's The Real Mad Men despite not being a fan of the fantasy adland of the TV series. This book is much more fun than that! It is chock full o' nuts, in the nicest possible way...
Published on 13 Oct. 2011 by Amazon Customer

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but emphasies DDB a little too much
I bought this book as I loved the Mad Men series and after working in advertising over 20 years I thought it would be interesting. The book is well written but I think a little too much emphasise is on DDB and not on other agencies.
Published on 14 Sept. 2011 by Lozza


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, fun and Informative, 13 Oct. 2011
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This book does what it says on the cover. It is about real people in a vibrantly real world re-inventing the advertising of late 50s & 60s America.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Andrew Cracknell's The Real Mad Men despite not being a fan of the fantasy adland of the TV series. This book is much more fun than that! It is chock full o' nuts, in the nicest possible way. It has characters nobody would dare dream up for fiction and the glory of it is that Cracknell uses their own words, more often than not, to describe some of the more extreme examples of their behaviour. Amusing anecdotes, biting quotes and illuminating memories abound, but the strength of the book is that they are all amplified by intelligent & informed reflection by an author who obviously really knows his stuff. What is apparent throughout is the exhilerating atmosphere prevalent on Madison Avenue in the sixties and the resultant iconoclastic & brilliant work it produced. It reveals the people & the thinking behind classic ads like those for VW, & Alka Selzer, Avis & El Al. Like this book, they were all sharp, innovative, witty and diverting but, on top of being entertaining, they also gave you all the necessary information. The book is a well-researched social document too, portraying the diverse backgrounds of this new wave admen and the cultural & social backdrop which allowed them to emerge. Densely packed with case histories & mini biographies though it is, The Real Madmen is easy & fun to read, I'd highly recommend it to anyone interested in the period- and any aspiring marketing men or women really should read it from cover to cover . The only down-side is, it makes one realise just how meretricious most of our advertising is today & what a dull, grey, lot the ad-folk have become!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent view of how Madison Avenue changed, 17 Feb. 2012
Andrew Cracknell's account of the Real Mad Men is fascinating, never dull and gives a real insight into the changes that took place in this period, socially, artistically which had their echoes in the advertising revolution that he describes so well. There are many larger than life characters but the book gives just enough of them to give the reader a real flavour. I can't wait for a sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You don't have to be in advertising to enjoy this book, 26 Feb. 2012
You don't have to be in advertising to enjoy this book - I'm not and I did! I found it a very readable story - a fast-moving, brilliantly written, authoritative account of the revolution in advertising. It includes marvellous illustrations and is full of amusing and often hilarious anecdotes about the larger than life men and women involved. A fascinating story, which makes you look at adverts in a whole new light after reading it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read - for people in and out of the ad business, 10 Aug. 2011
See the pioneering admen and women of Madison Avenue as they really were. An adman himself, Cracknell gets the tone just right - it's a great read and gives some brilliant insights into how the ad industry began, grew and developed. And it's not that Madmen, the TV series, has go it wrong - it gets a lot right - but the real story is much, much more interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 25 Jan. 2013
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T. Allen - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Real Mad Men (Kindle Edition)
I couldn't put this down. I thought it might be a lazy book written off the back of Mad Men's popularity but it's anything but. Some fabulous stories brought to life really well.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A world away from Sterling Cooper, 3 Oct. 2011
To anyone working in advertising today, or at any time during the past fifty years, the clarity, honesty and intelligence of DDB's work of the 60's for the likes of VW, Avis, Levi's bakery and many others, have become benchmarks of achievement in creative writing and beacons of possibility for what advertising can achieve for its clients, its audience and its practitioners. In "The Real Mad Men", Andrew Cracknell sets out to illuminate the achievements of Bill Bernbach , his Agency and their successors, by placing them in the context of what had gone before and applauding the sheer chutzpah involved in taking on the practices and thinking behind the output of the established Agencies. Whilst acknowledging the differing influences of David Ogilvy, Rosser Reeves and Marion Harper on the contextual landscape of advertising in the Sixties, Andrew concentrates on the cultural dynamics of the time and the huge release of energy and creativity that came with the arrival on the scene of mainly non WASP, non Ivy League participants in the creative departments of New York. His story concentrates on the legacy of Bill Bernbach, not only through DDB, but through the developments of its imitators and new competitors - the likes of Papert Koenig Lois, Carl Ally Inc, Jerry Della Femina et al. It is rich in colour, at times very funny and contains a wealth of anecdotes from those around at the time. A world away from Sterling Cooper. As he comments towards the end of the book" None of those he talked to (from that era) would ever have wanted to work for Draper and none of his department would have got a job at any of their firms. Too phony"
This book is for those who wish to know how it really was. It is also a terrific read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting perspective on the advertising we see around us daily., 12 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Real Mad Men (Kindle Edition)
Having been force fed a diet of "The Apprentice" and "Mad Men" while my daughter completed a marking module for her college course, i decided to dive in and give this book a try.

The first thing to note is, If this book is as accurate at depicting the advertising game of the early sixties as the authors claim, Don Draper and his firm Stirling Cooper, have nothing on some of these guys. This book graphically demonstrates the lenghts to which these guys would go to to get the message out there to the public. it was scary in parts, but also dynamic in others.

Secondly; May i suggest, that contestants on "The Apprentice" should definitely read a few chapters of this book before they apply.

Although times have changed and in the modern world you would hope that certain things should "hopefully" have moved on, I can picture a great deal of what this book describes still happening behind the scenes within today's world of marketing and advertising. If anything probably in an even more cut throat and ruthless manner than depicted in this book.

The only problem that I encountered with this book was that it could be slightly long winded and full of its own self importance in certain places, but overall i found it to be an interesting and a sometimes scarely informative book on the subject. It will definitely make me look slightly more carefully at advertising in future.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, 22 April 2014
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This review is from: The Real Mad Men (Kindle Edition)
I have never watched MM, but saw this book on special. It is a very interesting story of the rise of advertising in the US in the 1960's. If you are at all interesting in advertising or a MM fan I highly recommend this book.

It is an easy to read book and doesn't get weighed down by too many details and is the perfect length, not too short, not too long.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, 26 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Real Mad Men (Kindle Edition)
I was in advertising at the same time as the the author and we al looked to Maddison Avenue for inspiration. A great contemporary history of a great industryw
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I'd been there !, 28 May 2013
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This review is from: The Real Mad Men (Kindle Edition)
This book is terrific what a time to have been on Madison Ave so un PC it's like a story from a different planet ! What happened ?
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The Real Mad Men by Andrew Cracknell
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