TV Taught Me

People often ask me how I knew about advertising as a career path. No one I knew was in advertising, we didn't have guidance counselors or aptitude tests at my high school, and my parents still aren't sure exactly what I do every day.

Yet, I left high school knowing this is exactly what I wanted to do - well, not copywriting exactly, that came after freshman year when I added English as my second major and was solidified after an internship in the account management department - but when I was looking at colleges I knew that I wanted to get into a good advertising department (go Gators). 

Honestly, I think I got it from TV. 

Remember how Jamie Foxx used to make up jingles at his job? Or Darren from Bewitched? Even Tom and Lynette on Desperate Housewives all had some sort of advertising job. 

 Here's a listing of some of the standouts. 

Ad Men: 10 Movies and TV Shows About Advertising Agencies

If you're going through "Mad Men" withdrawal, you're not alone.

While the popular series is giving AMC lots of clout during talks of a high dollar takeover, new episodes of the AMC series aren't slated to hit the air until March of next year!
But while you await the return of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, there are plenty of past TV and movie advertising agencies to tide you over.

Here's a look back at 10 old school TV shows and movies that feature advertising agencies:
"Bosom Buddies"- 1980-1982
Agency: Livingston, Gentry & Mishkin
Yeah, Tom Hanks has come a long way. Back in the prehistoric days of his acting career, Hanks donned a wig and stuffed bra so his sitcom character, Kip Wilson, could rent in an affordable girls-only apartment house. To pay that cheap rent, Kip-slash- Buffy worked as a graphic artist at Livingston, Gentry & Mishkin ad agency. His equally lipsticked roommate, Henry, wrote copy for the agency.

"Bewitched"- 1964-1972
Agency: McMann and Tate
Even though his wife was a witch and could zap up anything she wanted, Darrin Stephens insisted on bringing home the bacon in this 1960s sitcom. Darrin was an advertising executive at the firm McMann and Tate, where he received a daily berating (and frequent threats of firing!) from micromanager boss, Larry Tate. ( You check out some of Darrin's ads here.) By the way, who was McMann, anyway?

Agencies: Roth, Kane and Donovan; Norman, Craig and Kummel; J. Walter Thompson
In this Academy Award winning movie, Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) lost his job as an advertising exec at the wrong time'"just as his estranged wife decided to sue him for custody of their son. Two ad jobs (and two hefty pay cuts!) later, Ted may have been working his way down the ladder of success-- but winning his son's heart was priceless.

"Melrose Place"- 1992-1999
Agencies: D& D Advertising; Amanda Woodward Advertising
No one does advertising quite like Heather Locklear! In the 1990s she played bad girl advertising exec Amanda Woodward on the popular nighttime soap, "Melrose Place," giving new meaning to the phrase, "Sex sells."

"Who's The Boss"- 1984- 1992
Agencies: Wallace and McQuade; The Bower Agency
In this sitcom, high powered advertising exec Angela Bower (Judith Light ) hired a hunky male housekeeper (Tony Danza) to do her dirty work -- and he even helped her out by starring in a commercial for soap in one episode. Too bad he got a rash from the product!

"Mr. Mom"- 1983
Agency: Richardson Advertising Agency
When Jack Butler (Michael Keaton) lost his engineering job in this John Hughes classic, his stay at home wife ( Teri Garr) beat him back into the job market when she landed a job at an advertising agency headed by a smarmy executive. But her mommy experience helped her to come up with fam-friendly ad campaigns like "Schooner Tuna: The tuna with a heart."

Agency: Kingston, Cohen & Vanderpool
Comedian Don Rickles starred as a stressed out advertising account executive in this one season wonder (okay, 13-episode wonder) that featured a pre-"Happy days" Erin Moran as his young daughter. The show tanked, so luckily this hockey puck had his stand up career to fall back on!

Agency: Bedford Advertising Agency
Queue up the Dorothy Hamill wedge haircuts! This short lived ABC sitcom (if you blinked in 1977 you missed it!) starred Bess Armstrong and Lynnie Greene as two New York ad agency employees who shared an apartment.

Agency: Sloane Curtis Agency
In this movie, Mel Gibson starred as a chauvinistic ad man who, after a bathtub accident, could suddenly hear women's thoughts. This made for some chick-friendly ad campaigns-- and Sensitive Guy was born.

"Full House"- 1987-1995
Agency: J J Creative Services
Sure, Jesse and Joey (John Stamos and Dave Coulier) had other careers on this long running series (Jesse was an exterminator while Joey was a stand up comedian'" and these two clowns even hosted a radio show together) but when they finally found their niche it was for commercial jingle writing. They started their own agency just in time, because let's face it, were the Beach Boys really going to let Jesse ride on their coat tails forever?