It’s the last season for Mad Men, and there is a survey going around about which of Don’s ad campaign pitches was the best. For my money, it was the Kodak pitch in which he created the Kodak Carousel concept. Here is what I thought back then about the pitch plus another gem.
We swore that we would never watch “Mad Men.” It was too much, too over the top, too much smoking and drinking and all those suits with pocket squares and skinny ties. All things our non-advertising and marketing friends told us were so cool. It must be great working in an atmosphere like that, they would say. We don’t smoke in the office and our most powerful drink at the office is a morning double shot mocha latte, we would say.
But here we are hooked on it and all wrapped up watching episodes nightly from the first season through the end of last season on Netflix streamed through Apple TV, which by the way, is a pretty cool gizmo.
After we got into “Mad Men” we began plowing through it looking for advertising gems, like the episode when Kodak wanted to sell their new slide projector as the Kodak Wheel. For those who can’t relate to a slide projector, check out the Kodak Carousel, which is what Don Draper named it and how he positioned it. He gave new technology an emotional appeal. But this is not the best thing Don Draper did, at least not through season 5. The best thing Don Draper ever did was actually something he said.
The episode was about his agency being purchased by a British firm. The new director of account services was explaining that the new agency model would be mostly about selling clients into more television because the commissions would increase agency profitability. He also said that the agency no longer needed to be subject to the whims of the creative department. To which Don replied, “I don’t sell advertising to clients, I sell their products.”
Good advice. Every ad agency, branding firm or marketing company should remember the entire reason for being is to sell the client’s products