Newsweek Goes Mad For the 1960s

This current Mad Men hiatus has been its longest ever, which means that the hype for its fifth season premiere on March 25 is likely heading to unprecedented levels.

The latest example comes from the world of magazine publishing. While in discussions with Mad Men executive producer Matthew Weiner, Newsweek/Daily Beast editor Tina Brown came up with the idea of having an entire issue of Newsweek that replicates the design that the mag used in the 1960s – cover, font, and perhaps even the advertising if various companies can be talked into participating. The gimmick is slated for the issue dated March 19, and it will feature a cover story on Mad Men along with an accompanying piece about advertising in American culture.

Speaking to Advertising Age, Brown said, “Newsweek was very much on the cultural forefront at the time of the show. It covered the events that are so much of the background for the show’s drama – the burgeoning civil rights movement, the women’s rights movement, the Vietnam War. That was Newsweek’s cutting-edge beat and its flourishing journalistic subject. So it seemed like a wonderful marriage in a sense to take that and apply it to the magazine, to make the magazine an homage to the period.”

The possibility of seeing a Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce-style ad for something like a cellphone is intriguing, though it’s a little unusual to see a journalistic outfit get into bed with an unaffiliated entertainment program to this extent (it’s safe to say that the cover story is likely to say positive things about the show). The good news is that when you head to the grocery store and see Jon Hamm staring back at you from what looks like a (very) back issue of Newsweek, you’ll know it’s just about time for Mad Men to return.