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Real Men and Women of Madison Avenue

The “Real Men and Women of Madison Avenue” exhibition is in Tokyo for its first public showing in Japan till October 3rd at the Ad Museum Tokyo. The exhibition celebrates the works of Madison Avenue's advertising professionals in the 60s to the 90s, as well as the contributions that they had made to the American business and popular culture.

Presented by The One Club, “Real Men and Women” highlights the creative output of several dozen copywriters and art directors; industry players who had created great advertising for a living. The iconic ad campaigns of these creative professionals influenced the course of the American economy while making advertising entertaining and fun, thus placing their stamp on popular culture long before ‘branding’ became the buzzword it is today.

Although the museum has previously featured many other exhibitions on Japanese advertising, this is the first exhibition that centers around the American advertising industry. The exhibition had first appeared at the New York Public Library Science, Industry and Business Library, attracting over 150,000 visitors who spent an average of 40 minutes reviewing the classic TV commercials, interacting with the kiosks and studying the panels on display.“Real Men and Women” features the work of over 50 individuals, ranging from Bernice Fitz- Gibbon, author of Macy's “Smart to be thrifty” tagline in 1929 to George Lois, the legendary art director and designer who had coined “I want my MTV!”. The exhibition also includes some of the popular advertising and branding campaigns of the period: Lee Clow's “1984” for Apple Computer in the 1980s, Goodby, Silverstein & Partner’s famous “Got Milk?” from the 1990s and Apple’s silhouette ads of the 2000s. The exhibition covers over 150 examples of print and TV commercials, as well as a series of blown- up quotes of some of advertising’s most famous copy lines that include Apple's “Think different” and “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s”.

The content at the exhibition are organized chronologically under these headings: “Early Pioneers in the Twentieth Century,” “The Modern Day Empire Builders” and “The Creative Revolution.” Each heading is followed by a written summary of the era, the people, the trends and the outstanding features of these individual works.

Images provided by The One Club.
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