Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Don Draper’s Guide to Making It in Advertising

Having just caught up with the wonder that is Mad Men on DVD, I have a new role model: Don Draper, Creative Director at ‘60s Madison Avenue agency Sterling Cooper. Without giving away too much about this brilliant series to the uninitiated, here’s Don’s approach to a successful career in adland…
1. Get drunk. Stay drunk.
They say that a relaxed mind is a creative mind – and what better way to stay relaxed than to be pissed on whiskey from the start of the day to when you crawl into bed with your beautiful but soulless wife (or anyone else who takes your fancy(see point 2))? Keep that drinks cabinet in the office well stocked – you never know when you might need some extra ‘inspiration’!

2. Fuck around
Shagging intelligent independent women might assuage your empty marriage and banging the client may even bring in more business!

3. Smoke like a chimney
Everyone loves to smoke; it’s an essential component of the American dream. It’s an especially useful habit if your client is Lucky Strike – live the brand, then die of lung cancer.

4. Take a nap
No ideas? Lie down on that sofa in your quiet corner office and get 40 winks. Who knows what may occur to you in your reverie?

5. Find a loyal secretary
All that drinking, philandering and sleeping needs good cover. Your secretary is both gatekeeper and organiser. Loyalty will be particularly encouraged by sexist remarks and condescension.

6. Keep 10 clean shirts in a drawer in your desk
A good creative looks like Cary Grant after a 8 hours in a trouser press. So wherever you’ve been the night before (see point 2 again), keep a fresh shirt handy.

7. Keep those skeletons in the closet
Got a shady, mysterious past that you don’t want to share? Great! Not only does it add an enigmatic air, it may offer an unexpected coup de grace when agency rivals try to blackmail you.

So there you have it – Don Draper’s approach may seem a little dated, but I reckon it could work for you! Why not give it a go?


Steve said...

Hey - add a penchant for dropping the occasion eff word. you fuck, and you've practically got Mike Strutter...

The Dotterel said...

Well, I'm off for a nap - so I'm getting there.

Tristan said...

The Dotterel: That's why I don't work at home! Oh, the opportunities for displacement activities and slumber...