Thursday, March 28, 2013

Madison moment

It was a hot summer afternoon and I was excited just by being in New York for the first time. The city has this buzzy energy that was reverberating through me - from the noisy subway underground, the crowded newsstands and halal stalls on every corner, the busy people crossing as soon as the last car had passed even before the light turned green.

I found myself on Madison Avenue, famed as the birthplace of the modern ad agency. It was disappointing to discover that none of the big agencies hold office there anymore, but walking the street still gave me a little thrill.

I noticed a pair walking toward me, he in a sharp navy suit and hornrimmed glasses, her hair coiffed in a wavy updo matching her ruby red lips. Their fifties garb was out of place but strikingly attractive. He reached out and handed me a calling card that with a name that made me gasp: Sterling Cooper. "Season 2," he said.

How they could have guessed that a random Asian chick was not only a mad woman herself, but a Mad Men devotee, is beyond me. That one moment cemented my day-old love for New York, the first of many awesome surprises that the city has given me. But it was a demonstration of marketing brilliance - right context, right message, right experience. I still carry the card with me, as a reminder me of how our work can potentially excite people, and how our creative process still excites me.


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