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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mad Men as Conversation Generator: Bathroom Blogfest 2010

Bathroom Blogfest 2010
Susan Abbott from Customer Experience Crossroads - creator of the Bathroom Blogfest 2010 logo - is responsible for getting me thinking about Mad Men and realizing what a conversation generator the show has become.

Her July post MadMen shows us a stratified society: things HAVE changed had me thinking about society, culture, business, the work environment.  It inspired the theme for Bathroom Blogfest 2010. After reading Susan's post, I realized that I was missing out on a profound cultural phenomenon - somewhat like the Sopranos, but even more universal since mobsters from New Jersey have limited appeal. 

I have a confession: I haven't watched much of Mad Men. For that matter, I haven't watched much TV lately. The timing is bad; it conflicts with my daughter's bedtime; it distracts from my most productive writing time. I did manage to watch 20 minutes worth but realized I wouldn't be watching much more. To compensate, I read Mad Men Unbuttoned: A Romp Through 1960s America and have been paying closer attention to the Mad Men phenomenon, uncovering in the process a multitude of conversations that span many worlds - from PR, to leadership, fashion, social behaviors and even Sesame Street!

Here are a few examples:
I wondered about conversation patterns generated by Mad Men interest. Here's what I discovered.

The chart below captures conversations from my social media marketing database during the past 6 months that refer to Mad Men. Notice the spike when the season started and the sustained level of conversation generated since.

Mad Men generate social media marketing conversation
Contrast that with approximately the same number of conversations from my retail experience database for the same six month timeframe. Notice how the conversations ramps up more gently at season launch and get more intense by season ending.

Mad Men generate retail experience conversation
Mad Men generate conversations!

Finally, to highlight what a cultural phenomenon Mad Men has become, check out the Sesame Street version:
[Subscribers, click on this YouTube link for Sesame Street's Mad Men.]

What's your take on Mad Men? Have you found signs of it wherever you go? Does it generate conversation? I'd love to hear.

Happy Bathroom Blogfest 2010!

Note: charts generated through eCairn Conversation.


  1. Thanks for this post and your confession. I don't watch much TV and I didn't know much about Mad Men. (I've been nervous about my post and the tie-in for weeks.) Your insight is helpful; but, your charts are amazing!

    Who would have ever thought to make that correlation? It's all about finding engaging content that interests our readers.

  2. Bill, I got quite a giggle out of how you used my 'confession' and I'm delighted to be in such good company... and that you like my charts!

    Thanks again for your enthusiastic participation.



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