Last week, I finally got round to watching the last series of Mad Men.
It got me thinking about an exhibition that I recently attended, featuring advertising agency Collett Dickenson Pearce (CDP) – the UK’s answer to the famous fictional agency featured in the Mad Men series. The exhibition, held at Leeds College of Art, paid homage to the D&AD’s most-awarded agency of all time, with a retrospective look back at some of their finest work.
The inspiration for the exhibition were two members of the Leeds College of Art alumni – Colin Millward and Ron Collins. Both played pivotal roles at CDP throughout the 60’s and 70’s, Millward as their first Creative Director, and Collins as a renowned Art Director.
It’s fair to say that they played their part in producing some brilliant and iconic work for the likes of Heineken, Parker Pens, Hamlet cigars, Fiat and Benson & Hedges.
Personally, I love looking back at old adverts and admiring the artistry involved in producing work like this – my favourite being the stunning simplicity of the Benson and Hedges imagery and messaging.
Granted, when you look back at some of the TV ads now, they do look very staged – but this was ground-breaking stuff back in the day, launching the careers of people like Charles Saatchi, David Puttnam, Alan Parker, Hugh Hudson, Terry Lovelock and Alan Waldie.
Take a look at a selection of CDP’s work here: https://youtu.be/Dd9wjvr6pOw
Follow Paul on Twiiter @ClearsilverCD