Mad Hatter Adventures in Adland

The Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland was undoubtedly inspired by the phrase as mad as a hatter so we thought it fitting for the phrase to inspire our Mad 4 Marketing holiday party. After all, if you know us, you’ll know that it’s very appropriate.

As it turned out, planning the Mad Hatter party was almost as much fun as the actual party. Keith did his thing with food and decorations, JT made witty hat badges, Elyse and Jennifer did the Costco run, Amanda was the martini maker and the whole staff took part in party planning meetings and brainstormed for ideas to make this a night to remember.

It took the Mad 4 team a whole evening over bottled beer, 6 inch subs and holiday tunes to unpack boxes fresh out of storage and hang an entire advertising agency full of decorations.

Tiffany and Roly spent hours creating the invitation and the website to go with it. Now all we needed were the people. And they came, alright! At 5:OOPM on December 4th, after a day full of meeting deadlines, writing conference reports, submitting ads to publications and writing creative briefs, Chris declared that the fun would begin.

It was a perfect night for the festivities. The familiar white lamppost was set up illuminating the entranceway, hundreds of hats were ready for heads, the bar was stocked with liquor and the tables were overflowing with delicious hors d’oeuvres and desserts.

People started arriving with their hats imaginatively decorated. And if they arrived minus headgear, we had some for them. They could even decorate it with their own personal flare — there were no excuses!

As the outside tent filled with people, a dent was slowly made in the food, and of course, the Mad 4 Martinis were going down well.

We had members of the Executives’ Association, clients from the past, present and future, employees and their sweethearts, even copywriting genius Stuart Dornfield put in an appearance — all in all a pretty good crowd, and they weren’t shy with the hat decorating either.

Bob Morris of Gulfstream Camera won the best guest hat competition with his creation made from a metal lampshade, camera film, batteries and all kinds of other items. Finalists also included Bob Moorman of Carroll’s Jewelers with his handmade fish and straw hat and Mike Petrie of Petrie Chiropractic and his son Elijah with a psychedelic look in matching ’60s hippie hats and outfits.

As for the employee hat competition, Jennifer Stillson managed to secure the greatest number of votes, but we have a sneaking suspicion that had more to do with the jello shots she was pushing rather than her creative genius.

Far from as sedate and tranquil as any Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, this one was great fun for those who remember it. And for those who don’t, here are a few pictures to tell the tale …

Mad 4 Meaning…
The simile Mad as a Hatter sprung from the name for an early industrial occupational disease. Because of the process of hat making, it was impossible for hat makers or hatters, as they were known, to avoid inhaling the mercury fumes given off when treating the materials they used to make the hats.

Hatters often suffered poisoning as mercury vapor caused neurological damage including confused speech and distorted vision. Which leads us to wonder if there was any mercury in the Mad 4 Martinis Amanda was shaking up behind the bar …

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