Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Don Draper's Carousel: Lessons for Social Media Marketing
I had "One of those moments" yesterday, where something I've always felt true was verified by a moment or an authority. I met a young lady yesterday who had graduated from a University with the twin majors of Marketing and Social Anthropology, and she expressed delight in my excitement for her choices. To which I explained that i see the two as being permanently intertwined.
I have always maintained in the inherency of the human experience. A unifying feeling that we have all been through this before, and we all share basically the same journey with minor variations. In marketing, this can be applied in different ways. Our need to breed can be preyed on, the manipulation of imagery is well known, and wordplay, copy, font decisions, music and etymological wizardry can come in handy when attempting to create a reaction to a product on a superficial level. Social Media however, has the honor of having the customer come to you. The customer has found you and they will deliver the message on your behalf, but you must equip them with the ability and desire to spread your message. You must build on their loyalty and do so at a level which connects beyond the obvious and at a very deep level.
Mad Men, is a fantastic show that I adore simply for the Cro-Magnon brazenness of 1960's advertising and how different it is from what we try to achieve through the intimate world of Social Media. When print and television were the only game in town, it was absolutely necessary to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, but when the customer is coming to you as is the case with social media, what sort of message are you sending out in order to be the most effective representative of your brand?
The clip below has received a large amount of attention for the way in which the lead character, Don Draper, during a pitch to KODAK, appeals to emotions that are not sexy or exciting but deeply moving and speak to us on a much more intimate level. So much so, in fact, that one of his colleagues who is having marital issues leaves the room in a rush.
A masterfully written expression of what all social media professionals must inevitably learn. As my mentor Stephen Fry put it so eloquently during his address to the Apple iTunes festival "Deep inside we are very soft people who yearn to love and yearn to be loved, and everything else is incidental, irrelevant, cynical, and not interesting to us fundamentally."
The feelings of belonging, and community that are recreated by our online families within our social media outlets are very real and must speak to that level of connectedness. It is a powerful tool, and when yielded wisely and with sincerity it can have wonderful results. Understanding that connectedness and what make societies and individuals tick at a rudimentary level,like an Anthropologist would, will make you more likely to achieve that goal.