Sell Me Something
Mad Men is one of my favorite shows of all times. Is it because of the philandering or constant degradation of everyone who isn’t white and male?
But the real reason is because Don Draper is seemingly a superficial character at first glance, yet as the show has progressed from season to season, he is one of the more complex characters out there.
In his job, Creative Director for an advertisement agency, Draper works with clients to sell products to consumers. Some of the campaigns are easy to create, and other campaigns are strenuous and terrible.
But the underlying theme of these campaigns is consumption. Will people buy what I am selling?
Marketing is one of those practices people thoroughly believe to be easy. Put a catchy tune in a commercial and people will remember your product. They remember it, then want it . They want it, so they buy it. Simple a>b>c logic right there. That is the way items use to be marketed.
Then focus groups became the thing to do, and people used those. Then demographic information, purchase history and market research all became buzz words and buzz actions to sell people things.
But what about today? What about the advent of the Internet, including social media platforms?
Rarely do I see an advertisement that makes me want to buy an item. Either I want and item, or I don’t. Simple as that. Either I will buy something, or not. No amount of advertisement will sell me the product.
Now, where advertisements do sell me isn’t when they sell a product.
They sell an idea.
Advertisements in the digital age are seen as intrusive and annoying. They interfere with entertainment, work and life in the digital age.
Gone are the days of a catchy jingle. Gone are the days of simple data sets.
We should use information to understand audiences better. We should information to understand people better. We should no try to sell something to just consumers.
We should work with people to give them an idea. An idea they cannot live without. No matter how frivolous that item seems, if I cannot connect with a person through whatever channel, I cannot truly sell them something.
I have to want to sell it to them to, because I, as a human being, would appreciate buying whatever product is being sold.
One thing Draper does routinely throughout the series is sell ideas. Never a product, but what the product brings to the daily lives of people.
It is funny, with all this technology we have today, we should go back to our roots of just being people working with people to make all of our lives better.