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Editor at Large

Dandy Don Draper: Nuggets of business gems from TV's advertising genius

- Last modified: April 17, 2014 at 12:08 PM

The recipe for the wildly successful “Mad Men” television series includes 1960s nostalgia and Madison Avenue decadence of drinking, drugs, wealth, power and adultery.

The recipe, we might add, also includes excellent advertising, marketing and business advice.

The show – televised on AMC – began its final season Sunday night. It began a two-part final season that stretches into 2015, which in a way is a nod to the creativity of the central figure on the show, Don Draper.

He would no doubt recommend that the show’s producers milk the final season over two years. For Draper, first and foremost, is a businessman, and throughout the series he has rarely wavered from the tenet to keep your eye on the ball – to give the client what he wants and what will work.

To that end, Draper, portrayed by Jon Hamm, has offered profound counsel through the years.

Glow New Media, based in the United Kingdom, recently aggregated some of that marketing advice on its website.

Some of the nuggets are deeper than others; all are entertaining. (Click here for the list.)

I particularly enjoy the first one on the list: “The day you sign a client is the day you start losing one.”

Another website, flavorwire.com, also offers wisdom from Draper. Of note is this one: “People tell you who they are, but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be.”

And for another compilation of Draper delicacies, click here.

My favorite here might be: “People want to be told what to do so badly that they’ll listen to anyone.”

Don Draper, a professional whiz but personal mess. Learn from his words but not his off-the-clock actions.


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