July 5, 2018

Great advice from a fictional copywriter

“Every great ad is a story”
Peggy Olson, in Mad Men

We’ve been watching the Netflix series Mad Men for what feels like forever now. It’s slow progress, because the smaller version of me likes to shout whenever we try to watch anything.

Based in a fictional Madison Avenue ad agency, the programme follows a group of copywriters and ad executives as they make their way in 1960’s New York.

Obviously many things about the show are heightened: the drama, debauchery etc. But many things are portrayed well – and still relevant to marketing today.

Dealing with tricky clients. Coming up with the right strategy for a campaign. Telling the right story about the product. Selling both of those things to the client. Placing in appropriate media. Measuring results to justify your ongoing involvement.

What I’ve just described are still the fundamental headaches of someone working in the marketing industry today. The tools and tech have moved on, but the fundamental headaches haven’t changed.

Next time you’re stuck for things to write about, think about what evergreen headaches your customers have that never quite go away. Those are the things to write about.

P.S. Great fiction uses drama to bring to life some fundamental truth about the human condition. Even on Netflix.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.