I loved Bewitched…the 60s/70s show that often featured the misadventures of Darrin Stevens as he worked for the fictional McMann and Tate Ad Agency, often having his ability to deliver effective ad campaigns somehow manipulated by his wife’s (or her madcap family members’) witchcraft antics.
I was recently talking with a friend who works in advertising. We somehow got on the topic of Bewitched and he admitted that the agency story line intrigued him as a kid, and made him think that a career in advertising would be his calling as an adult. And there you have it. Although not all of us can connect the dots in our career path with such a straight line, media can definitely have an influence on our choices.
Fast forward to today with MadMen, the modern show with the retro ad agency appeal. It’s probably having an effect on someone somewhere who will pursue his or her dream career in an agency.
When a popular show or movie features a work environment or someone’s career as the story line, (or as a reality show), it’s bound to influence us. As a multimedia society, we’re consuming more information than ever and are influenced by what we’re taking in – whether it’s how we dress (think how Banana Republic launched their MadMen inspired clothing line this summer), what we say (“yada, yada, yada” thanks to Seinfeld), or in some cases, how we choose our career.
There’s definitely an appeal that popular culture and media emanate. Whether it directly impacts our career choices, or gives us something to think about, it makes a difference in our choices of where we work and what we do. The influence of media…whether you’re a wanna-be writer who would love to have the writing gig (and shoes) of Carrie Bradshaw, or are sharpening your cooking skills to be the next Iron Chef, you have been influenced by your favorite entertainment.
The poet and author Allen Ginsberg sums it up nicely, “Whoever controls the media — the images — controls the culture.”
We are what we watch!