Category Advertising, Insights, Moose Life
The pop culture phenomenon that is Mad Men has called into question what we do as a promotions agency. Friends ask, “Is your job like on Mad Men?” The answer is a resounding NO.
Not only do we live in an era where the pressures of the industry are entirely different, but we’re also based in the Midwest where the culture and sensibility contrasts greatly from the East Coast. All said, we’re much closer to being Glad Gents than Mad Men.
Here are three reasons Don Draper wouldn’t make it in a promotions agency today:
1. Compromise. Don Draper is lauded for his ability to close a deal. He’s who colleagues want in the room to convince the client the proposed idea offers the best solution. The catch is that what’s best is subjective, and clients today are more likely to question it. What happens then? Argue or compromise?
My guess is Don Draper would argue (respectfully). But in today’s economy and culture, arguing will put you in the doghouse and potentially on the chopping block. What’s more, if an agency suggests there’s only ONE possible solution to a client’s challenge, I’d hazard to guess they aren’t all that creative.
Listening to a client’s feedback, interpreting it, then incorporating it in a way that preserves the agency’s core idea is challenging. But that act of compromise results in a stronger, more effective creative idea that both the agency and client can be proud of.
2. Multi-tasking. Perhaps there’s no one better at multi-tasking romantic relationships than Don Draper, but when it comes to business, he and his team are typically laser-focused on one campaign – maybe even one billboard or print ad at a time.
In a promotions agency, focus shifts among 5-10 projects every day. We’re shuffling clients and projects, and clients with multiple projects or projects with multiple executions. From retail promotion to digital engagement to social advertising, we’re activating campaigns across all marketing channels and are asked to do so with only weeks of planning.
Imagine Don Draper being asked to present campaign ideas with a 2-week timeline. I’m guessing more than one glass of Scotch would be poured to ponder that one.
3. 2-way communication. Don Draper is certainly a smooth talker, but what happens when people start talking back? That’s exactly what the age of social media has initiated: two-way communication between a brand and consumer. In fact, the consumer often dictates what the brand does. This shift of power – from the brand or agency to the consumer – makes a brand more relevant and valuable, but would likely throw Draper into a catastrophic tailspin. He never had the responsibility of answering to the end consumer.
These are just a few things that separate us Glad Gents from Mad Men. If you can think of more or have a different POV, please leave us a comment.