The Jumping Off Point

Estimated reading time: 4 minute(s)

To a 21st century digital copywriter, watching Mad Men is like taking a campy face-in-a-hole photo at a carnival. On the outside, it’s the life of an adman gussied up (not us). And yet, the agency plotlines resonate in a way that’s surprisingly contemporary and real.

In Don Draper’s mock-up for the Royal Hawaiian (season 6, episode 1), he doesn’t show Diamond Head, a lavish suite, or the hotel pool. In their place are a suit, tie, work shirt—doffed and discarded on the fine white sand. The invisible subject has shed his skin and jumped into the ocean, says Don. The clients are flummoxed. It’s morbid, they say, shaking their heads and minds emphatically.

Three episodes later, a pitch to Heinz features naked food— fried chicken, glistening fries, a slice of steak. Above it, a simple directive: “Pass the Heinz.”

It feels like half an ad, says the man at Heinz, who sees only what’s on the page.

According to show creator Matt Weiner, these ads were six years ahead of their time. “The greatest thing you have…is not the photo you take or the picture you paint. It’s the imagination of the consumer. They [sic] have no budget…no time limit. If you can get into that space, your ad can run all day,” says Don.

We’ll raise our whiskeys to that. 1968 or 2013, great marketing copy is often anything but literal. Rather than douse you in a stream, it doles out condensed, heady droplets. Rather than hand you the punchline, the reader gets to pick it up himself. Which do you think is more powerful?

At MarketSmiths, our hats are off to Don Draper, copywriter of the future.

Posted in

Conrad Strathbone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More from MarketSmiths

brand awareness

Marketing in Obscurity: How to Build Brand Awareness That Works

fall movies copywriting

Cats, Mr. Rogers, and Star Wars: What Fall’s New Movies Can Tell You About Your Copy

The ABCs of SEO

You Need SEO. We Hear You! Sorting Out the ABCs of SEO

voice search SEO

Voice Search Part II: The Old SEO vs. New SEO Smackdown

Subscribe to hear more from MarketSmiths!

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Content Marketing Services

Stay in Touch

Join our mailing list to get actionable business, marketing, and content insights.

Thank you! We'll be in touch from time to time.

Powered byRapidology