I have been singing it, humming it, and buying Coca Cola at a ridiculous rate that should leave me bankrupt with a mouthful of cavities by June 1.
Don Draper, you dapper bastard, you really were an advertising genius!
Mad Men is a show that I have always enjoyed, and unlike the Series Finales of some other classic shows (cough, cough, The Sopranos, cough…) the last episode of Matt Weiner’s love letter to the advertising industry left me quite satisfied.
As well as humming and singing that old Coke jingle.
Weiner had been dropping hints all year with Coke popping up in several episodes, and even putting Don and his crew to work at the ad agency that really did create the iconic campaign that brought the episode to an end.
I thought it was the perfect end to a show that really could’ve gone on for decades. Advertising is a field that has always intrigued me, and when I was in my mid-twenties, I thought about trying to get into the business.
I created several ad campaigns for actual products, as well as for companies that my friends and I had talked about starting someday. My production company would’ve had the best ad campaign the world had ever seen if I’d ever actually founded the company.
A couple of my ads did sneak into my former father-in-law’s zine. I’d done a couple on the virtues of recycling, and he surprised me by running them with the actual paid ads in his little publication.
When you think about it, aren’t we all in the advertising biz? We might not write copy for actual advertising campaigns, but aren’t we forever pitching ourselves, our writing, and our blogs?
Writing is a business where we are always making a pitch, trying to convince the public to choose our product over all the others on the market, and using words to sell something that often times sounds better in our minds than in the actual final product.
Sure, none of us look as good as Don Draper doing it, but we are a lot like him. Don Draper wasn’t even real. Dick Whitman stole someone’s identity and turned Don Draper into a larger than life character, who was a millionaire, a playboy, a lousy husband and father, and a great idea man. That makes Dick Whitman a pretty awesome writer.
Would any of you not want to walk in Don Draper’s shoes for a day, Modern Philosophers?
Just when it looked like he had reached the end of his rope…he was telling people he had retired, he found out the mother of his children was dying, he’d been abandoned at some hippie retreat, and called his protege to say goodbye…Don Draper decided to do a little yoga and a bell went off in his mind.
The greatest ad campaign of his career was created at a moment in his life when creativity, as well as all hope, should have abandoned him.
But Don Draper proved that a creative type can find his Muse at any time. You just need to leave your mind open to the possibilities, and before you know it, people all over the world are singing your words from the mountaintops!
For his never say die attitude, his mind boggling creativity, his impeccable style, and his Houdini-like ability to escape from career ending traps set by his own hand, I tip my fedora to Don Draper.
Then I’d pick his brain about writing, marketing, self-confidence, and maybe most importantly…how to charm the ladies.
You are the real thing, Don, and I am going to miss you.