Sunday, September 19, 2010

Maidenform – Mad Men Episode Summary 2.6

Maidenform Mad Men Episode SummarySynopsis: Duck Phillips informs the mad men of Sterling Cooper that their client Playtex is looking to change their campaign to follow that of their competitor Maidenform. Peggy Olson is assigned to work on the account, but is put aside when Paul Kinsey comes up with an impressive idea for the ad. Don Draper continues his trysts with Bobbie Barrett, and learns that he has built himself a reputation. Meanwhile, Duck Phillips gets a visit from his kids only to learn that his wife is planning on marrying another man.

Episode Summary: Sterling Cooper’s current client Playtex is suddenly looking for a change in their campaign. Despite strong sales and a growing share in the market, Playtex would like their ads to match Maidenform’s style. The mad men are confused at their client’s request, and Don Draper is annoyed that Duck Phillips could not dissuade Playtex from jumping the bandwagon. Duck Phillips has his hands full with a visit at the office from his wife, kids, and his dog Chauncey.   Continue reading...

Don and Betty Draper spend their Memorial Day at a party at their friend’s country club. Betty chats with a couple, while Don is pulled into a strange conversation with another guest who is dissatisfied with the Kennedy’s, and expects the country to fall apart during JFK’s term. Betty, on the other hand, was spotted by Arthur Case, the young man she met at the stables. Having showed interest in her, he felt responsible for the change Betty made on her riding schedule. The two were on the fringe of flirting with each other when reality sets in as Betty’s kids arrive. Given that it is Memorial Day, the host requests a round of applause for the servicemen who served to protect their country. This, of course, included Don Draper whose family could not be more proud of his sacrifice. However, Don once again disappoints his wife after letting her know that he is expected at the office. The truth is, he has planned a rendezvous with Bobbie Barrett who unfortunately had to cancel given that she is spending her holiday at the beach with her eighteen-year old son whom she has never mentioned to Don until now. Mention of the beach reminded her of their accident, which Don would rather not talk about. It was an event he would rather forget. Having taken his leave, Don Draper decides to go back home instead of rejoining his wife and kids at the party.

Meanwhile, Pete Campbell spent the holiday at his apartment in a simple gathering with his wife, brother, and sister-in-law. Having no plans for the summer, his brother worries that Pete is worried about money. He assures him that money did not affect his decision to stay-in for the summer, and uses his work as an excuse.

It is back to work, and Pete Campbell wastes no time to annoy Peggy Olson. Before the holiday, he already has been asserting his own copy for the Clearasil campaign. Peggy had thought up a story for the ad where two teenage kids go on their very first date. Pete Campbell insists on using “Thanks, Clearasil” as the tagline, and even ran it to his father-in-law whom he attests to have loved his idea. Pete senses that Peggy dislikes his tagline, and confronts her about it. The young copywriter though does not argue drives her point by saying that they should stick to their responsibilities. Pete has been stepping on her toes. The young man continues to annoy the young woman with him spoiling Liberty Valance for Peggy by giving away the ending. Maybe unaware that he comes off as a jerk with his small talk, Peggy politely sends Pete away with the excuse that she has a lot of work to do.

Roger arrives at Don Draper’s office to inform him that he will be having lunch with Duck Phillips. A rift formed between the two ever since the failed American Airlines pitch. It is Roger’s intention that the two men make a truce. Unfortunately, Duck Phillips would probably not be in a very good mood for he had just learned from his kids that his wife is about to marry another man. Though taken aback at hearing the news, Duck tries his best to remain composed in front of his kids. He explains to his children that it is an eventuality that was bound to happen given the divorce. He supports his wife’s decision, and even assures the children that the man their mother is marrying, Franklin Reeve is a good man. However, the straw that broke the camel’s back is the news that he is to get his dog back, because Frank is allergic. This caused him to raise his voice. Though Duck Phillips dearly loves his dog, it is his intention that it stay with the kids to maintain consistency in their home that has changed due to the divorce. His wife, however, seems to want to move-on.

The team working on the Playtex campaign with Paul Kinsey arrives for their meeting with Don Draper. Paul Kinsey though not tasked to work on that account has an idea for the ad. He believes that women in America already have a fantasy, and that is every woman can be categorized as a Jackie Kennedy or a Marilyn Monroe. He provides support to his idea with a simple yet succinct presentation. He calls on Don to look at the women in their office. Paul Kinsey points at Jane, and classifies her as a Jackie Kennedy, and Joan as a Marilyn Monroe, he goes on and on, and his hypothesis is overwhelmingly true. Don Draper is impressed, while Peggy Olson who was tasked to come up with an idea for the new campaign could not help but be annoyed. Much to her dismay, Paul Kinsey has forced himself to work on the Playtex account. Her annoyance stems from the fact that she had given no input in the campaign, this because the new campaign was conceived at a boy’s night out. Duck Phillips arrives late in the meeting with his dog anxious to know when he could bring in the people from Playtex. Thanks to Paul Kinsey’s idea, Duck could schedule a meeting with them as early as tomorrow. Don is already happy with the idea of the new Playtex ad with them showing two types of women – Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe.

Knowing that lunch with Duck Phillips is just a ruse to get them to talk, Don Draper decides to forego lunch, and settle the matter as straightforward as sitting down in an office to talk directly about their rift. Duck Phillips confesses of his struggle to figure out the ways of Sterling Cooper, but Don Draper finds this unacceptable. Don feels that Duck has been selling their client’s ideas to him when his job is to sell his ideas to them. Duck Phillips acknowledges his faults. He knows very well that it was him who miserably failed, and that Don has been covering for him. He has taken the fall, and accepted its consequences without causing damage to the company. All he asks of Don now is that they move on. Don Draper agrees to his request.

When Don Draper informed Duck Phillips that he is not planning on coming back after lunch, he was not lying. He spent the rest of the afternoon with Bobbie Barrett, and learns that other than a son, she has a daughter as well. Bobbie Barrett is not like any other lover he has had. A married woman with two grown kids, Bobbie is unafraid to have an affair, and is unwilling to be controlled. It can be said that Bobbie is the female version of Don Draper.

Peggy Olson is once again taken out of the loop on the Playtex account, this after seeing that the mad men in her team had gone ahead, and started casting women for the ad. Meanwhile, Pete Campbell sees Chauncey, and learns that it is Duck Phillips’ dog. Duck careful not to show his weakness makes up a story of how he forced his wife to give him his dog back. Seeing the dog, Pete is struck with an idea of getting one for the office to make Sterling Cooper look easygoing. Duck Phillips, however, dismisses the idea. A blow to Pete Campbell’s ego, he finds an outlet to soothe it. He finds it at a dismayed young woman rejected for the Playtex ad. Their flirting quickly leads them to the young woman’s one bedroom apartment that she shares with her mother. Unconcerned with her mother’s presence, the two make love on the couch with the television in full blast to mum their moans. Pete Campbell arrives home late-at-night worried, but pleased.

The next morning, Betty Draper prepares breakfast for her family wearing the two-piece bikini she bought at the Memorial Day auction. Quite happy with her purchase, she is surprised to learn that her husband dislikes it. Don Draper finds that the revealing outfit makes Betty look desperate. He knows very well that all the men at the public swimming pool will ogle at her. The swimsuit that earlier made her feel good about herself suddenly made her feel self-conscious.

Peggy Olson is still bothered with the fact that she is intentionally being left out of the Playtex account. She confronts Joan for advice thinking that she would know how to handle the mad men. Joan confesses that she would not know how to deal with those men given that it is a different world, and she does not want to be part of it. There was no need for her to try to learn the inner workings of creative. Her advice would be that Peggy Olson learn to speak their language, and for her to dress more maturely so they would start taking her more seriously.

The men from Playtex arrive at Sterling Cooper ready to hear their idea for a new campaign. Don Draper pitches the ad staying true to Paul Kinsey’s vision. He uses Jacqueline Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe as the jump-off point of his presentation. He tells Playtex that women have feelings about these two icons, because men do. Men want to have both, and so the women want to be both. He believes that women put a lot of thought on how they look in order to impress men. He shows them a print ad of two different looking women, one wearing a black bra, and a white one. One resembles Jackie Kennedy, and the other Marilyn Monroe, but the truth is, it is the same model. Moreover, the copy “Nothing fits both sides of a woman better than Playtex” reasserts their concept. The guys from Playtex are impressed, but they reject the new campaign anyway. Just as what Don has been saying earlier, Playtex’s sales is already doing well with their current ad that showcases the incredible fit of their brassieres. Playtex realizes that there is no need to hop on the Maidenform’s bandwagon given that they have already won over customers with their product’s quality. Duck Phillips once again strikes out. Don Draper gives him some comfort by saying that though it did not work out, showing them a new ad may have just bought them a little bit of security given that Playtex would not have to go anywhere else if they later decide to change their current campaign. He could be right. Playtex was so pleased at Sterling Cooper’s output that to show their appreciation for the time and effort spent in putting together a new ad, they volunteered to foot the bill for a night of entertainment. Unfortunately for Peggy, the chosen form of entertainment is at a strip club. The young woman cannot be deterred. Peggy Olson shows up at the strip club in a revealing dress. The older of the Playtex client’s is more than happy to see her as he pulls her to sit on his lap. Peggy obviously is uncomfortable, and seeing a disgusted Pete Campbell intensified the awkwardness of her move.

Though he does not show it, Duck Phillips knows that he is a failure. Having had a drinking problem that had caused him his marriage, Duck almost falls off the wagon. He takes a bottle of scotch ready to take a sip, but somehow seeing his dog probably reminded him of his family, which made him change his mind. He sets the bottle down, and takes Chauncey to the lobby, and lets him go. The dog barks at him, but Duck Phillips ignores him. He walks away without looking back.

Don Draper is once again having a tryst with Bobbie Barrett. Don tells Bobbie to stop talking, but she refuses. They prepare to make love. Don starts to become rough, and Bobbie could not stop talking letting it slip that Don has a reputation. This upsets Don Draper without Bobbie realizing it until the time he ties her to the bed, and leaves her. Morning came, and Don had slept at his house beside his wife. His young daughter comes up to him, and watches him shave. Her daughter mindful of his father’s task promises not to talk to prevent him from cutting himself. Don is pleased with her daughter, but then seeing himself in the mirror his mood suddenly changes. His face is filled with strife, and he asks his daughter to leave. He stops shaving, and takes a seat. Clearly something has troubled Don Draper.


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