The writers of the critically acclaimed HBO series Mad Men didn’t create the rules for advertising, but they do describe them well. Advertising is about showing how a product assuages the fears of the customer (whether or not they knew they had those fears); advertising is about happiness. Don Draper explains:

This is a simple, obvious, and unbreakable rule, and yet there are so many ads that go astray. Or they think the formula is somehow different. Kate Dailey wrote an article for the Daily Beast about the ads that are aired during Mad Men episodes, and how many miss the point entirely. The advertisers seem to think that viewers enjoy Mad Men because it’s retro cool and full of male bravado and submissive women–but that’s just the front. The real allure is what’s behind that front, how the men screw up and what the consequences are for the men and women alike.

Getting ad men out of hot water? No, thanks.

Yet the advertisers press on blindly. A Clorox ad aired during Mad Men shows a white shirt with a red lipstick smudge on the collar, with the words “Getting ad guys out of hot water for generations.” Subtext: Clorox helps men cheat. But Clorox’s main demographic is women. Instead of assuaging the customers’ fear, the ad creates or increases it.

About a year ago, AMC announced a partnership with Unilever. Unilever, a giant marketing firm, created spots for six of the many brands it represents–Dove, Breyers, Hellman’s, Klondike, Suave, Vaseline–that would be similar in style to the show itself. The majority of the ads are set in an ad agency much like Don Draper’s Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, with a short contemporary ad at the end. Almost every one of the retro ads objectifies women–again, women are the main buyers of these products (and the main demographic that views the show). So how are these effective?

Better these advertisers actually watch the show they’re trying to mimic, and learn from it: