A lot of people will tell you that watching TV is bad or that it rots your brain. Luckily for you, I am not a lot of people.
I recently wrote a post on how watching QVC can help you with your sales. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I tell you that I think watching Mad Men can help you with your copywriting and marketing.
Not only is the show entertaining, it’s practically a lesson in business. You get to see people thinking up slogans and commercials. Some of them are awesome, and some of them miss the mark.
You get to see them trying to woo clients and get frustrated by trying to meet their client’s demands.
You see the characters pull all nighters, celebrate when they get something right and deal with disappointment when they don’t get it right.
The next time you are feeling overwhelmed with your advertising and marketing or feel like you just ‘can’t do it,’ take a step back and think these magic words “What Would Don Draper Do?”
Now, to be honest, Don Draper would probably light up a cigarette, get drunk and have sex (all while at work) and the solution would pop into his head while taking a shower. That might work for you. It might not. I mean, you might have to leave your smoking, drinking, and sexing until after you get out of work, what with all the cubicles and stuff now-a-days…
But in all seriousness, here are some things that Don Draper would do:
Be Creative – Don’t be afraid to dream a little and be creative. If you feel like you are stuck, find something to distract you. This is probably where all of Don’s drinking and sex comes into play. But you can find any activity to occupy your mind. When you stop thinking about the problem, the solution will come to you.
Take A Risk – Don is no stranger to risk. At the end of last season, we saw him take a huge risk by starting up Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and on the premiere of Season 4, we saw him try to sell Jantzen on a somewhat racy ad, and when they didn’t like the idea, he kicked them out of his office. Pretty risky for the owner of a start-up ad agency.
Sell The Feeling – This is what Don does best. He doesn’t sell products. He sells feelings. And this is exactly what you should be doing. For example, if you are trying to sell me a coffee maker, I really don’t care if it makes 10 cups or 12 cups. I don’t care if it has programmable this or auto that. All of that is mumbo jumbo.
Instead, tell me something like this: “This coffee maker will make your morning so much easier. It only takes a couple of seconds to set everything up at night and program it to automatically start brewing your coffee when you want to get up. In fact, set it to start 5 or 10 minutes before you get up. You’ll wake up to the smell of that coffee brewing. Is there anything better than that? The warmer will keep your coffee hot for you, and don’t worry if the pot hasn’t finished brewing. It comes with an automatic pause function so you can go ahead and pour yourself that first delicious cup, and it will start brewing against once you place the carafe back. How awesome is that?”
Okay – Don probably wouldn’t say “awesome” — but you get the idea. Sell me the feeling of that hot, delicious cup of coffee. Sell me the feeling of how easy and convenient it will be to wake up to that coffee every morning.
Work With Smart People – As fantastic as Don is, he doesn’t work alone. He has people like Roger Sterling and Pete Campbell to woo clients. He has Peggy Olsen to help think of clever and unique copywriting. He has an art department to turn his words into a visual medium. The dude has a whole crew, and you should, too.
If you can afford to outsource, start handing off some of the work that you might not be so hot at. That will allow you more time to work on the stuff you are good at. If that isn’t something you can do right now, that’s okay. Find some people to bounce ideas off. This can be your Twitter tweeps or it can be a group of business friends that are local to you.
Look At Your Life – Don is no stranger to looking at his own life for examples of how to sell a product. You may remember in season 2 when the Drapers hold a dinner party and Betty serves them “a trip around the world” menu, including Heineken? Earlier in the office when discussing how to market Heineken, Don said that affluent housewives were the exact demographic to market the imported beer to.
When his co-workers told him he was right, in front of Betty, she got mad and told Don he embarrassed her. He then told her that he used their life all the time in his work. Remember that. Think about yourself, your family, and friends. What would make them buy a product or service? Use those reasons to guide your marketing.
To lay it on the line for you, Don Draper doesn’t give up. And neither should you. Marketing isn’t torture. It’s creative and fun. So don’t feel overwhelmed. Use the tips above to help you and don’t give up.
Side note: The image I am using in this post came from MadMenYourself, just in case you wanna get a snazzy picture, too. I am supposed to be the one holding the Bloody Mary. If you ever see me in a bar in real life, I’ll be the the blonde, wearing the glasses, and, of course, holding the Bloody Mary. For real. It’s my signature drink.