8.29.2008

mad men, ogilvy: at least it's not 'shipping?



for those of you living under very tiny rocks this past week, i will give you a brief summary of the Mad Men AMC fiasco before proceeding. skip between the lines if you've followed.

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1 - bored unknown assailants 'brand jack' characters from the tv show and portray them on twitter, interacting with one another and fans.
...see also: @Don_Draper, @Roger_Sterling, @Paul_Kinsey, et al.
2 - they develop following, and apparently popularity is bad for AMC, so they legally request the accounts to be suspended, of which the main characters' are. something something copyright.
3 - the awesome folks at Deep Focus convince AMC to stop being asshats. a 'gentle nudge' goes a long way--especially when done with a metal ruler.
4 - but not before the damage was done. the accounts are reinstated but the backlash from AMC's handling thrives.
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moving right along.

there are a number of things that could have made this situation handled better, and other folks have said that better than i could, so i won't dally there. though i doubt they'll be paying the folks any time soon; that would mean condoning their behavior, and if they go against character grain, AMC will likely want to keep a distance. wtfever.

the greatest backlash, apart from the usual blogging wonders, actually comes from the fans who made the twitter accounts. for some interesting stuff, check out We Are Sterling Cooper [dot com]. they humbly request: "But please, don't treat us like criminals."

which led me to the question: where is the line?

there are fan fiction groups everywhere for everything (almost). i don't follow it, but i know there are ones for Harry Potter, Twilight, Star Trek, and any number of oddities that attract immersion in an 'other world.' (i think the 'other world' is most attractive--that a slip in time or place is more suggestive of immersion.)

these people rarely get sued, if at all, or asked to remove their written work, and often these fanfics greatly vary from the actual characters' intents. for example, 'shipping (a term i learned from @tokyohanna Amber @ Naked earlier this week). imagine Betty Draper and Joan Holloway as lovers. yeah, i didn't think so either--but people write it.

that's not to say you have to like it. this Mad Men twitter thing isn't for everyone. i'm not saying to run out and subscribe to it, proliferate or promote it, but i don't see how it's different from fanfic other than the medium. do you think the fact that it happened on twitter is really the reason for the uproar? twitter, where transparency is expected, even when writing twit-novellas?

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what i find REALLY interesting, though, is this as of this morning: @David_Ogilvy. it's unverified as to whether or not this is actually him; he styles his name like the other mad men, and followed the mad men characters first. he is pitching @Don_Draper for a 'lunch meeting' concerning hiring.

Don insists he is happy at Sterling, as his character would. but the $5 million question: is Dave impressed by the tenacity of the twittering mad men and looking to hire the Man behind the Draper, OR, is even Dave a "character" and now the link between 1960s advertising fiction and post-millennial advertising fiction becoming a reality? bizarre to think about. which do you think?

3 comments:

Johanna said...

Hey, thanks for the shout out! It was actually Amber who introduced us to that term, though :)

the girl Riot™ said...

@johanna--really? good to know! haha ;)

Gavin Heaton said...

So the question I am weighing up now, is if a "character" from a show leaves a comment on my blog, is this spam?