Running 7 & 8 Figure advertising campaigns for some of the largest eCom brands in the world I find myself asking this question more then I would care to admit… When shit hits the fan, I utter these 5 words… What would Don Draper Do? (WWDDD?) In this article I’m going to explore how thinking like Don has saved my business many times and made our clients millions in the process.
If you are unfamiliar with the AMC hit tv series “Mad Men.” It’s an inside look into the booming advertising industry of the 1960’s in New York City. Think Art Deco, Whiskey, Cigarette Smoke, Sex and Advertising (Baby)! In this consumer based post WW2 world Donald Draper is the leading man played by John Ham. (who is an amazing actor by the way!.) He is the creative director at Sterling Cooper a Madison Avenue advertising agency!
Now, I’ll be honest with you… my life is nowhere as exciting as Don Draper…
I’m more of a mediation and kale type of guy myself, but It has paid dividends for me to channel my inner Don Draper from time to time and has allowed me to be very successful in my digital advertising agency!
Here are 3 advertising super powers I have learned from Don Draper, that you can use to grow your business today!
Super Power #1: Empathy
As an advertising executive Don must understand the wants and needs of the customers better then they understand themselves. To be successful in advertising you put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Don is always looking to better understand the end user!
He wants to…
- Understand the language they use. (techno babal)
- Understand their buying habits. (seasonality, trends)
- Understand their problem.
- Understand the solution.
Here is a quote from Don explaining this:
“People will show you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.” – Don Draper
By doing this you are able to find the pulse of your market and tap into this to resonate with them.
Have you ever seen an advertisement and you felt as if they were speaking directly to you?
This is how they do it!
Super Power #2: Mass Consciousness
Don always seems to say the right things at the right time to save the account or to sell more Lucky Strikes. He taps into what I like to call “Mass Consciousness!”
He has the ability to say what everyone is thinking but not saying or even being able change the conversation all together.
Here on of my favorite quotes from the show:
“If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” – Don Draper
Some of the greatest advertising campaigns of all time are born from this.
Super Power #3: Story
Before Don ever presents his ideas to the client he sets the stage with a great story.
Stories are a powerful way to deliver your message to your customers or clients.
Here is a quote from the that talks about this:
“What you call love was invented by guys like me… to sell Nylons.” – Don Draper
By wrapping what you’re selling in a story it gives an easy delivery of your message to your target customer. Human being have been telling stories for 1000’s of years and this is not going to change any time soon
Also stories are easy to share with others… We don’t tell our friends about an ad we saw but, we can tell them a story we heard from the ad.
I’m clearly not Don Draper by any stretch of the imagination (just based on my lifestyle choices) but, we sure can learn alot from him and this era. Times may have changed, but human beings are pretty much the same… We still like to be understood, hearing ideas that resonate with us and I mean who doesn’t like a good story?