“The day you sign a client is the day you start losing them.” – Don Draper
It’s 08:00 am. Just finished my morning routine and here I am now watching an episode of ‘Mad Men’ on my laptop. This is my free time before I go back to doing my tasks for the day.
It’s one of my favorite series for a few reasons.
First, there is its main theme – advertising.
I’m currently studying Marketing, so it’s very useful.
Second, it reveals everything that’s going on in the biggest company of that time. Shows the meetings, how to make the best offer to a new client, how directors manage their work and make decisions despite the drama in their personal lives.
Another reason is that you can understand how the hierarchy in this business works. Different circles are shown – from how the senior partner is respected by everyone in the agency, and how the particular company departments function, to how an ordinary secretary – after a lot of hard work and creative ideas – becomes a copywriter in a company ruled by men, and how they react to that.
The best thing though, is the colorful personality of Don Draper.
He is the creative director and later becomes a founding partner of a new firm. His past is covered in mystery and now he is known as one of the best in this business.
The two things that have won him that position are the talent of generating ideas in any time and presenting them to the client in the most convincing manner.
I can say for sure that his character affected my mind. I was impressed by the great ideas he came up with wherever he was.
One time, while in a restaurant with a potential client, he thought of something and wrote it on a napkin.
Another time an idea was born at home, while he was with his family.
What Can Don Draper Teach Us About Creative Ideas
His favorite technique is one of the simplest but most powerful ones (which is understandable because the action takes place in the 60s, when smoking is a privilege for the rich and television is black and white; advertising is also in its early stage, but still the concepts are great).
That technique is as he said it: “Just think about it deeply, then forget it… then an idea will jump up in your face.”
So I decided to get the best of Don and acquire his habit of generating ideas at any time.
Everyone can do it!
It’s simple as that: just care a small notebook with you and whenever inspiration strikes – of course after some time of concentrated thinking on the issue – you will be ready.
Then find the best way to present it in front of the right people.
Your goals may be different – solving a problem, trying to change someone’s mind, making a client believe in your idea or presenting a product in front of potential users – but when you have a great idea and you manage to put it in a favorable light, together with the confidence you radiate, the convenient words you use and a persuasive way of speaking, your idea is going to meet everyone’s approval.
Have you learned something important from a movie/book character? What is it and how did it affect your journey to success?