Martin Schneider writes:
One more quick thing about the most recent episode, "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword." The news that SCDP would be handling Honda's nascent automobile division could not but remind me of Randall Rothenberg's engrossing book Where the Suckers Moon. That 1994 book detailed the circa-1990 process whereby Subaru hired a new advertising agency for its upcoming campaign and, as such, is an essential resource—one I haven't seen mentioned enough—for anyone who wants to read more about Don Draper's job description (albeit 25 years later).
Mad Men's description of Honda's new cars as "motorcycles with a frame around them" (or whatever) immediately brought me back to Rothenberg's account of Subaru's early years. At the time—an automobile enthusiast could confirm if this is still true—Subaru was kind of the ignoble stalwart on the lower end of the Japanese automobile market. Their cars were clunky, cheap, and reliable, and they were also known for pioneering the four-wheel drive. Somehow I can't help but think that Weiner and Co. are obliquely referring to Where the Suckers Moon here; it's just too close.
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