The professional and personal lives of those who work in advertising on Madison Avenue - self-coined "mad men" - in the 1960s are presented. The stories focus on those at one of the avenue's smaller firms, Sterling Cooper, and its various incarnations over the decade. At the heart of these stories is Donald Draper, the creative genius of the company. That professional creative brilliance belies the fact of a troubled childhood, one that he would rather forget and not let anyone know about except for a select few, but one that shaped who he is as an adult and as an ad man in the need not only to sell products but sell himself to the outside world. His outward confidence also masks many insecurities as evidenced through his many vices, such as excessive smoking, drinking and womanizing - the latter despite being a family man - and how he deals with the aftermath of some of the negative aspects of his life.
Where The Truth Lies ...
Did You Know?
Both actors portraying the principal partners at the Sterling and Cooper advertising agency - John Slattery
(Roger Sterling) and Robert Morse
(Bertram Cooper) - hail from Newton, Massachusetts. See more
Office doors and office locations are different in the pilot than in later episodes. Most of the offices in the pilot do not even have names on the outside yet. See more
Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. You know what happiness is? Happiness is smell of a new car. It's freedom from fear. It's a billboard on the side of the road that screams with reassurance that whatever you're doing, its okay. You are okay.
Spoofed in Mad Fan
A Beautiful Mine
Performed by RJD2 See more