Ask anyone in the western world what comes to mind when they think of the Golden Age in American History and they will almost always invoke images straight out of advertising. Figures such as the quintessential happy housewife, complete with apron and pot roast, the ruggedly handsome men in suits with cigarettes lazily dangling from their lips, and rosy-cheeked blonde children with adorable matching outfits dominate our mental landscape when the 1950s come to mind. Back in the present day, there are people around the world who have built communities and lifestyles around these caricatures. I can say with confidence that nearly everything we know about or associate with the 1950s and 60s comes from American advertising, cinema and television of the time. One can say that advertising more than anything has played a pivotal role in shaping our understanding of the world back then. It, therefore, makes absolute sense that a show like AMC’s Mad Men did so well on the global market as it indulges our whimsical fantasies about the midcentury while also showing us the brutal realities of the era. One of my favorite parts of Mad Men was the amount of screentime dedicated to the imaginary ad campaigns being run by the protagonists. Rather than focusing the show entirely on a romance each season, the writers also put in incredible amounts of effort in creating advertising campaigns for Don Draper and his colleagues to sell to on-screen clients. Some of the campaigns merely hint at brands or items that existed at the time while others use real-life companies as examples. At times the creators did such a great job with the advertising campaigns on screen that I am compelled to think they would have given their historical counterparts a run for their money. Here is a list of the 5 times I felt that the advertising on Mad Men was better than the real thing!