The Mad Men Pushed Ping-Pong

I work in an office where we don’t have lots of crazy creative things you’d find in some agencies. But we do have a ping-pong table.
Seems that’s a bit of a tradition, ginned up by old-school advertising in the post World War II era.
Slate Magazine takes a closer look:

How were thousands persuaded to transform their lives from the densely packed community of the urban setting into a private world of conformity and materialism? Becoming homeowners, yes, but doing so amid a sprawling, bland, conservative culture rife with fondues, gin rummy games, and kaffeeklatsches? After copious years of research, the answer becomes clear: Ping-Pong was the lyre-wielding Siren that lured aspirational suburbanites to their doom on the rocks. Before Madison Avenue had the bright idea of delivering trucks of cash to celebrities’ doorsteps to act as pitchmen, beloved Ping-Pong was recruited to sell America on modern notions of the good life.

Was it an organized movement or some random suburban luxury? Who knows. But Slate found a whole bunch of old ads featuring Ping-Pong tables. Personally, I would’ve preferred a pool table when I was growing up. I had to make do with Matchbox cars and Atari.



About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.