A poll wasn't taken but odds are, most of those present for this particular session were familiar with, if not fans of, Mad Men, American TV show that is based on the advertising industry. The show is set in New York and gives viewers a peek into the lives of advertising executives back in the 1960s.
Christina Hendricks, who plays a character in the show called Joan Holloway, flew in to Singapore as a special guest at Spikes Asia. Gordon Bowen, founder, global chairman and chief creative officer of mcgarrybowen, a New York-headquartered advertising agency, that is part of the Dentsu Aegis Network, spoke to her about the show, her career and similarities between the creative professionals that put a show like Mad Men together and the creative folk that make ads for a living. He also asked her a few questions about every actress' parallel career - the brand endorsement front.
Though Christina spoke about the show, her experience shooting for it and her preferred acting technique, Bowen kept trying to tie the discussion back to the world of advertising, in some way. For instance, when she spoke about how it helps her essay a scene better when the director tells her, in advance, what he'd like the audience to feel at the end of it, Bowen said, "In advertising too, we want the audience to feel a certain way. In fact, we want them to feel, think and do certain things, after seeing our ads...'
Responded Bowen, "Yes, in fact, when we speak about iconic brands, we realise that they're things we not just think about, but feel for.."
He then asked her to suggest ways in which advertising execs and their clients can get the best talent - he meant celebrity endorsers - to work for them. Christina answered, "It is important to find a natural match between the person and the brand. The person should be able to talk about the product in question in a natural way. If it (the testimony by the celebrity) looks forced, or rehearsed, people will not respond to it... they won't buy the product."
"... Obviously, people know when someone is selling a product, but it should look natural," she said.
Bowen ended the conversation with the question "What did Mad Men teach you about advertising?"
She answered, "I took it (advertising) for granted earlier, but now I understand that advertising is all about emotions. It's about making people feel something. It's not just about gimmicks and catchy lines. It's also about the right imagery...'