Mad Men Genius

dondraperAs someone who started her career working at advertising agencies, you can no doubt guess that I am a fan of the TV show “Mad Men”. The 1960’s ad game isn’t that much different – well, apart from the drinking and sexual harassment – from today’s. The basic roles are the same, and the frenzy to gain and keep business is the same.

I enjoy seeing the ad campaigns Draper and his crew put together. Draper seems to have a stroke of genius in practically every episode, and the October 10 episode was no different. Though his partners, staff and indusry competitors reviled him for it, I think his open letter renouncing tobacco was genius.

The letter made him and the agency in charge – or at least gave everyone else the appearance that they were which, in the ad game, is just as important. The letter is a PR gamble, spinning the truth from Sterling Cooper Draper  Price being fired by Lucky Strike to the opposite, that Sterling Cooper Draper Price had fired Lucky Strike. By saying he and the agency were unavailable, it triggers the whole ‘want what you can’t have’ mentality – an attaction for new business. 

On the flip side, in the episode, the letter’s critics say the letter was a temper tantrum on Don’s part, and that it will make all their clients worry that the agency will drop them on a whim as well.

What do you think?

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