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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, April 19, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

Koss headphones made its way as a major plot point on "Mad Men."

Hearing is believing: Koss on "Mad Men"


"Mad Men" has been known to stay true to its historical time period. The drama, set in the advertising agency world in the 1960s. The producers, directors and writers do a great job of staying true to the times, and using examples of advertising and products we would remember.

When Koss headphones were featured in Sunday's premiere episode of the show's final season, it was a surprise to viewers from Wisconsin. It was also a surprise to the company.

"We found out just like everyone else did," Michael Koss said. "It was an honor to be included."

In a day and age where many firms pay top dollar to get their products placed in the top shows on the air, the Milwaukee-based Koss was a part of the main storyline without having to pay for placement. The only warning company executives received was mention from critics that were sent advanced screening copies of the show.

Koss mentioned that "Mad Men" did a great job covering the period when his dad was out just trying to get people to listen to music through headphones.

"That was the time where there was so much music that could be heard. It was when 'Sgt. Pepper' (a landmark album from the Beatles) came out. It's so layered, you had to listen through headphones to hear it all," Koss said.

Being a former radio host, I understand all too well the difference of listening through ear phones instead of the studio speakers. With earphones you can hear the different instruments play off of each other, you can catch the nuance in a person's voice. Emotion spews forth when we take the time to listen.

"The show pays attention to understanding the period," Koss said.

Flash forward to now, and Koss is taking advantage of inclusion in the fan-favorite show through its social media and web pages. It is giving away headphones and artwork as part of its Legacy Sweepstakes on Facebook. Up for grabs is an original poster signed by John C. Koss, the inventor of the SP/3 Stereophone.

As important as the emerging technology was in the "Mad Men" days, it is just as important today. Koss told me of the company's latest efforts using headphones and access points in the cloud and wireless space. Through a heavy digital presence, Koss has been able to deal directly with consumers on its exclusive patent-protected device as small as an ear bud that can bring music constantly to your ears.

This play on "Mad Men" is another nod to and great exposure for Milwaukee, and a great business that shares our home.

BUSINESS TAXES : FOX Business Network is airing a day-long special today called "The Business of Taxes." This special will examine the most challenging tax returns for high net worth individuals and small business owners. Anchors and reporters will provide viewers with tips on how to maximize their tax refund through 7 p.m. this evening.

ACM AWARDS RATINGS: The American Academy of Country Music awards was a ratings success for CBS. The network reported that more than 15 million people tuned in to Sunday's broadcast.

Talkbacks

littletinyfish | April 12, 2013 at 11:24 a.m. (report)

I've lived in Milwaukee for 13 years now, and I still don't own a pair of Koss headphones. I think that's going to be a new goal of mine by the end of the year.

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