Peggy Olson’s copywriting career begins during a focus group for Belle Jolie lipstick company. After some instigation, half the women in the group break down, sobbing about their relationships and insecurities. Peggy looks on, stupefied, and delivers a couple of one-liners that get the Miss Deaver’s Secretarial School alumna noticed by the boys’ club.
While carrying the wastebasket of tissues covered in lipstick samples (there’s probably some snot and tears in there as well), she refers to it as a “basket of kisses.” Of course, she couldn’t possibly form a succinct metaphor on the spot with her secretary brain, so it takes some convincing that she did, in fact, think of that all by herself. She continues, “I don’t think anyone wants to be one of a hundred colors in a box.” With that, she is responsible for the Belle Jolie ad and launches the ‘Mark Your Man’ campaign.
As Sterling-Cooper’s newest copywriter and Don’s protégé, Peggy is now responsible for the woman accounts, like Playtex and the Relax-a-Cizor* “weight loss device.”
*Turns out the Relax-a-Cizor was a real thing, and it was quite dangerous. Who knew?
A newly minted copywriter, Peggy orders a Brandy Alexander, just like her friend Joan orders for her, while on a date with a truck driver a few episodes later. They start with small talk about their jobs, and the chemistry is a bit off from the beginning. Clearly threatened by her ambition, the date ends early when he tells her that she is not like the girls in Manhattan, and she never will be. Not one to back down, she simply states, “I am one of those girls.”
Vegan Brandy Alexander
Adapted from the Mad Men Cocktail Guide
¾ oz soy creamer or thick non-dairy milk
¾ oz brandy
¾ oz vegan crème de cacao
- If desired, coat the rim of martini glass with cocoa powder. Dip the rim in a bowl of milk or creamer. Roll the edge on a plate with cocoa powder. Shake off excess.
- Pour the liquors and cream into a mixing glass.
- Shake and pour in martini glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg on top.
Of course, Peggy has come a long way from Brandy Alexanders and baskets of kisses. As she gains more clout, she proves that she can form opinions, thoughts, and taglines for companies and products that everyone uses. She does not renounce her feminine identity to get ahead, nor does she question her authenticity or character when she explores her identity and sexuality. Except sometimes she does question herself, like people do, but she moves on and earns her success. Carry on, Peggy Olson.