New York Times Launches Madison Ads Archive

NYTMadisonNavThink of madison.nytimes.com as a kind of Grey Lady equivalent to Wikipedia. When clicking into the home page, visitors are greeted with the following:

The New York Times archives are full of advertisements that give glimpses into daily life and cultural history. Help us digitize our historic ads by answering simple questions. You’ll be creating a unique resource for historians, advertisers and the public — and leaving your mark on history.

Get started with our collection of ads from the 1960s (additional decades will be opened later)!

Ad Age’s Michael Sebastian very handily has the first few featured 1960s ads compiled at his end. As he notes, this new Web feature is envisioned as a logical companion to TimesMachine and includes some playful interactive layers:

A gaming aspect to Madison seeks to incentivize amateur archivists by showing their progress and giving them titles after completing certain steps. Data that readers provide will ultimately make the archive searchable and discoverable, Ms. [Alexis] Lloyd [creative director at The New York Times Research and Development Lab] said…

Once the R&D Lab collects enough data about the ’60s, it will move on to another decade of print ads, according to Ms. Lloyd. She said the R&D Lab chose the ’60s as its inaugural decade partly because of the heightened interest Mad Men created around the advertising industry during that time.

Madison Ave, meet Madison nav.