10 Marketing Lessons from Mad Men, the TV Show

This is what it takes to succeed in advertising in Madison Avenue:


Mad Men

1. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (this could have come from Kubrick’s The Shining as well).

2. Clients need to be wined and dined to the point of stupor to close a deal.

3. As an employee – especially a secretary – you will get in trouble resisting the sexual advances of superiors or VIP clients. Give in. Homosexual advances must be turned down, however, and the proponent is allowed to be called a pervert.

4. Count on Don Draper to save any campaign presentation at the last minute by changing his tone of voice. It gets lower, and the speed of his delivery slows down. He will also look deeply and meaningfully into the clients’ fascinated eyes. It helps if the musical score rises at the climactic moment.

5. Getting stoned and drunk at the office makes creative work a lot more productive, although most of it turns out crappy in the end.

6. Chain smoking or coping stoically with second-hand smoking is a strong indication that you are on your way to stardom. Wives of marketing executives will not hesitate to reward their thirteen-year-old daughters with a cigarette to celebrate school accomplishments.

7. Get a good-looking wife or husband if you are in the business of advertising and be unfaithful to them. A necessary step to further your career.

8. Take 4-year-olds to watch Planet of the Apes and don’t worry if they start having constant nightmares afterwards and wish to get rid of the family dog because they can’t stand getting near fur any longer. These little family problems should not concern a senior executive any way.

9. Back-stabbing is a very normal and acceptable part of the business. You will have your chance to get back at your ex-best friend eventually.

10. The most important question to ask about an applicant if you have not seen them yet is: is she black or white?

Well, we are in the sixties after all. Jokes apart, the show is brilliantly written and should be watched.

Au revoir

Jorge Sette.



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