If Don Draper Worked In Search Marketing

I’m sure you’ve all watched “Mad Men” and wondered what it would be like if Don Draper worked in today’s advertising industry. But what if the greatest fictional ad creative of all time found himself in SEM?

1.  Search ads would make you cry. No one writes copy like Don Draper. Although, in the last episode, Michael Ginsberg might have bested old him with lines for Sno Ball. Indeed, Don may have a hard time doing his thing in 95 characters or less,  but I’d have to imagine he’d always be going for the same reaction that his famous Kodak Carousel pitch received. Perhaps his Google ad copy for the keyword “photo wheel” would have read like this:

It’s Not a Wheel



Capture moments, moves like magic

Clicking, spinning, wax nostalgic.

2.  There’d be no need for complex bid algorithms. “Porftolio, shmortfolio. Just make sure we’re always at the top,” Draper would yell at Harry Crane, media department of one. Harry, in turn, would create a simple bid-to-position-one rule and sneak out of the office to meet up with his Google rep at the Jim Beam Suite in Yankee Stadium.

3.  Ole Jeeves would still be alive and kicking. The “Mad Men” era was rife with servitude. Don Draper would not Google anything. He’d either query the butler or ask his secretary to LMGTFY. Maybe he’d even end up falling for Siri.

4.  Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce would have a booth at ad:tech.Need I say more?

5.  Google would accept beer ads. Oh wait, it already does. Well, we can be sure Don Draper would not work on a tobacco account. Although I can certainly picture him and Roger Sterling landing a hookah lounge client.

6.  Agencies would have all the power. In today’s SEM climate, clients call the shots. Agencies have to begin defending accounts the minute they win them. The demands for continual campaign improvement are incessant, and a few months of flat results can put the business into review. If Don Draper worked in search marketing, he would have none of that. He’d tell clients what they needed to do -- and they’d like it!

7.  Young talent would not be coddled. As Millennials -- with their “ME generation” values -- begin to move their way up the corporate ladder, Don Draper would have no patience for whining about having work recognized.  Instead, he’d subtly put them back in their place.

8.  Google Trends would lie dormant. All insights would be derived via traditional focus group. And Draper would carefully “screen” participants

9.  Testing would still have its place. The beauty of search is that you can keep tweaking your ads to see what works best. Even Don Draper knows that you don’t always get it right on the first try.

10.    Cloud would have a whole new meaning. And hopefully Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce would have good health care coverage!

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