|Working On Madison, Blogging Beyond It
By: Cameron Kirkwood
For those who don’t know who I am, I’m a junior digital strategist just getting my first foot into the industry. Today marks my first week working on advertising’s infamous avenue, and it certainly hasn’t disappointed.
Beautiful views, nonstop industry talk, activities around every corner, events each hour, and plenty of free beer — just to name a few of the perks frequently going down in the building and its surrounding blocks. But that’s what you get when you’re a part of the wonderful world of advertising.
So what’s so iconic about working on Madison? Well, for one, you know where you are. There’s something about those edgy creatives that you could spot a mile away, and let me tell you; there’s loads of ’em. Just walk for five minutes and you’re likely to catch a fashion icon wearing a tutu or two. (Maybe a bit exaggerated.) Make your way below 14th Street and you’re guaranteed a like-90% hipster ratio. (Not at all exaggerated.)
Bars and Starbucks can be found up and down the entire stretch, tucked between the many towers and sometimes included within the office buildings itself — let’s be real, usually included within the building itself.
Big-time agencies like DDB, 360i, and TBWA can all be found within advertising’s crown jewel. And of course, the street is brimming with businesses on the evident rise, such as Barton F. GRAF 9000 and Digimind.
But enough with what’s on Madison. Let’s talk about what makes Madison Madison. A unique blend of sexy and creative is what makes up the air here. There’s really no other way to describe it.
Enriched in culture, some of the biggest ad campaigns, Super Bowl spots, and now big-time start-ups were all made right here on this street. It was the birthplace of true triumphs, such as the overcoming of America’s “be successful, show off” way of life. The legendary campaign “Think Small” was just one of many that did just that. As true Mad Man George Lois said, “We had to sell a Nazi car to a Jewish town, only years after the war.”
Speaking of Mad Men, any true fan of the show knows it’s fixated around the street itself. Through an era of unique storytelling and captivating visuals and the help of these Mad Men, the industry flipped over from positioning only the most successful owning Cadillacs to branding the Volkswagen Beetle and revolutionizing the very nature of advertising we know today.
But who were the true Mad Men on Madison? This video details the answer to that exact question. If you want to learn more about the history of Madison Ave, that’s the video to watch.
Yet even though advertising may have gotten its start on Madison, as the world knows well, the industry’s reach has gone far beyond. It’s now impossible to refer to it as anything but the world of advertising, and just as the industry once expanded past the street, it will forever propel onwards as a whole. Experiential, Digital, Social, Inbound — so many avenues of growth; all possible past Madison’s own avenue.
So although I’ll be working on Madison, the industry has made it impossible to simply blog about it alone. Truly, in advertising in this day and age, one must write beyond it. #BeyondMadisonAve
Cameron Kirkwood is a recent graduate, but a forever student of advertising. An aspiring brand strategist and digital aficionado, Cameron seeks to change the game through new and different channels of advertising in an ever extensively growing industry.
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