Don Draper’s Kodak Moment

Mad Men Inspiration

In marketing terms, I would be considered a ‘laggard’ to this Mad Men hype, but trust me when I say that I am a true fan! In truth, I have tried watching Mad Men a few times over the past few years but could never get past the first half hour of the pilot.  This time around though, I watched the whole episode… and then didn’t stop until I hit the end of Season 1!

Anyway, one of the greatest moments for me from Season 1 was when Don Draper gave his pitch to Kodak on their new slide projector.  Kodak was very attached to the idea of it being in the shape of a wheel and wanted that to be incorporated in the ad campaign.

Don’s pitch left me speechless.  See it for yourself:

“Technology is a glittering lure. But there is the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash, if they have a sentimental bond with the product.

My first job, I was in house at a fur company with this old pro copywriter, Greek, named Teddy.  And Teddy told me the most important idea in advertising was ‘new.’ Creates an itch. You simply put your product in there as a kind of calamine lotion.

But he also talked about a deeper bond with the product: nostalgia. It’s delicate, but potent.

Teddy told me that in Greek nostalgia literally means ‘the pain from an old wound.’  It’s a twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone.
This device isn’t a space ship. It’s a time machine. It goes backwards, forwards. Takes us to a place where we ache to go again.

It’s not called ‘The Wheel.’ It’s called ‘The Carousel.’

It lets us travel the way a child travels. Around and around and back home again to a place where we know we are loved.”

Maybe it’s because I am in marketing that left me so in awe after watching his pitch.  I loved everything about it – the concept, the delivery and the way it tugged at your soul.  A true marketing victory :)  It also reminds me that sometimes, it’s not the gimmicks, the fancy features, or the technology that sells.  It is the emotional bond to the product that will create the demand.

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