The Real Mad Men and Women Share Secrets from Behind the Scenes

February 1, 2017 | Becky Niiya

Don Draper, the charismatic, hotshot creative director on AMC’s Mad Men, made a career selling the promise of happiness. Set in 1960s Madison Avenue, Don declares in the show’s first episode, “Advertising is based on one thing, happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s the freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of the road that screams reassurance that whatever you are doing is okay. You are okay.”

Fifty (fictional) years later, these themes continue to resonate for advertisers like TD Ameritrade. Jumping into the world of investing can be intimidating and TD Ameritrade strives to remove the fear factor and help investors work toward their financial dreams. On air now, the company’s “Green Room” national advertising campaign conveys to investors that whatever they’re doing is ok and that they’re okay.

A brainstorming session with ad agency Havas New York first triggered the idea of a green room. In show business, the green room is where actors and performers relax and prepare offstage before a live appearance.

“This concept immediately appealed to us because that’s what we aspire to do – to be the firm that helps prepare our clients for their financial futures,” said Dawn Burke, director of Advertising and Brand Management at TD Ameritrade. “Our Green Room is a sanctuary of sorts where people drop by for real, honest conversations about money in a comfortable, inviting and safe space.”

Serving up a healthy mix of empathy and humor, actor Jim Conroy is the “Green Room Guy” leading the conversation and answering the questions that everyone really wants to know about personal finance and investing.

“With this campaign, we set out to create a consistent visual device through both the physical space and a host that personifies TD Ameritrade’s down-to-earth, welcoming brand,” said Izzy Garber, global executive creative director at Havas New York. “Our aim is for TD Ameritrade’s Green Room to be instantly recognizable to people and offer a more candid and relatable take on investing than the formal vibe of the category. It’s a friendly invite.”

Kick back, pour yourself an Old Fashioned and click here to see the Green Room TV commercials on-air now.

Fun fact: the green couch featured in the commercials was custom made for TD Ameritrade.