In honor of the season five premiere of Mad Men on Sunday, Newsweek didn't just dedicate the cover to AMC's hit television show but rather the entire issue, channeling the retro 1960's aura in its advertisements and editorial.
Welcome to Newsweek's time machine. To celebrate the start of a fifth season of the TV show Mad Men, set in a Madison Avenue ad agency in the 1960s, we've retrofitted this issue to the restrained design style of those times, Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown wrote in the March 26 and April 2 issue.
According to Brown, the idea to make an issue straight from 1965 came to be based on the parallels between the show and the way Newsweek used to be in the 1960's, which attracted many current advertisers to retro-ify their ads.
Creative directors from agencies all over were diving into their vaults to dust off visuals from old accounts like Spam, Tide, Dunkin Donuts, and Hush Puppies. Ad agencies like Brand Cottage, not around in those days, went retro just for kicks, Brown said.
Better yet. In addition to the feel and typography of the 1965 issue, Newsweek also included ads an issue in 2012 wouldn't normally see, according to Newsweek's Andrew Romano: tobacco and alcohol, Don Draper's favorite things.
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But that's not all. Newsweek hired staff writer Eleanor Clift, who lived through the same time in the 1960's as a Newsweek staffer and married to a Mad Man, to write the cover story as she reflects upon her own life.
The two days I spent hanging around the set of Mad Men were like entering a time capsule that took me back to that period in the '60s, everything from the pencil skirts and stockings with garters to the electric typewriter that was the latest technology, Clift wrote.
Namely, Clift attests the accuracy - of sexism, drinking and smoking - in which writer Matthew Weiner has captured for Mad Men.
Mad Men gets the gender stratification of the time right, along with the prevalence of smoking, the heavy drinking culture, and a fair amount of sleeping around, Clift wrote. That was certainly the case at Newsweek In the '60s among the married writers and editors and the young single women hired to become researchers, then considered 'a really good job for a woman.'
Clift also chats with Weiner about how the show will end along with how he makes storylines, or rather dictates to a writer's assistant, then to writers, and finally rewrites himself.
Mad Men season five premieres on AMC on Sunday, March 25 at 9 p.m. EST but for now, the Mad Men Newsweek issue hits newsstands Monday.