Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The data cruncher Don Draper

The hype about the TV show “Mad Men” over the last weeks is pretty big but it’s one of the rare instances where I would support the hype. It’s an extremely well written and insightful TV drama, it’s less about just the advertising industry in the early 60ies than human beings trying to cope with changing values in the intersection of the business and their personal world. And these intersections are getting quite messy in most episodes, especially since it deals with men who prefer stories over realities.

Avi Dan in this week’s Adweek makes the smart observation that Don Draper would be not a lead creative guy in today’s world but a data cruncher who would focus on “…analyzing consumer data, understanding how consumers behave and coming up with insights and new ways to connect with them.”

One thing that would definitely change is the way of how Don Draper is coming up with insights. Interestingly enough his character is always the most curious, the most unsatisfied, the most soul searching marketer on the show. He is truly trying to understand consumers beyond the first veil of clichés, even in 1960ies where cliches run abundant. His personality disposition makes him a perfect analytical guru in today’s world, but his work ethic would need to change.


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