Mad Men, the wonderfully misogynist television show we all love to… love, is back in all its martini-soaked glory for a fifth season. We couldn’t be more thrilled. But let us not focus on the skirt-chasing antics (this blog is a place for respectable professionals, after all) and talk about what we, in 2012, can glean from these words of wisdom from season five. (Read part one of this multi-part series here.)
“Dissatisfaction is a symptom of ambition. It’s the coal that fuels the fire.” – Trudy Campbell
To that quote, we offer another: “A creative’s work is never done.” We’re perfectionists like that. And you probably are, too. Without a fire in your belly – to improve on what you did yesterday, to grow – then you’re just treading water. In business and in life.
“Where am I supposed to conduct business?” – Pete Campbell
“In the crapper for all I care.” – Roger Sterling
In the ad business, especially in the 1950s, image was everything. It’s highly unlikely that even a smooth-talker like Pete Campbell could’ve signed a multi-million dollar contract with a client in the loo. Image still matters today, regardless of the industry you’re in. And not just image – but perception as well. How you present your company and brand, across everything from your lobby to your marketing materials to how your phones are answered, must be thoughtful and consistent. When perception and reality don’t align, you’re missing a huge opportunity to build equity and trust in your brand.
“Clients are right all of a sudden? I don’t recognize that man. He’s kind and patient. It concerns me.” – Peggy Olson
Naturally, Peggy is referring to Don Draper, who is notorious for throwing dissenting opinions right out of the conference room – client or not. We find that collaboration (though a heavily over- and misused word) between client and agency produces the best creative results. We wouldn’t be doing our due diligence as a marketing partner if we simply took orders, or if we insisted clients take our way or no way. Meeting in the middle and arriving at a result that takes the best of everyone’s contributions is where strong solutions arise.
Did we miss any gems worth mentioning? What do you think of season five so far?