From Kodak to Vine: Marketing in the Mad Men Era and Today

Don Draper

In advertising, the tech whiz and the graphic designer often seem opposed to one another. This raises the question: What makes a good marketing campaign? Is it metrics, or is it imagination? Or is it a combination of both, as this infographic from the Salesforce blog suggests? The fact that so much of marketing now relies on techno

Technology and emotion: Are they rivals?

logy makes it seem like things have changed a lot since the 1960s period portrayed in “Man Men,” when story and emotion reigned supreme as a way to convince customers to buy something. On the other hand, even “Mad Men” couldn’t resist tackling the idea of technology. In the scenario depicted in this video, the representatives from Kodak company are hoping to exploit the idea of the wheel as technology in their marketing campaign for a slide projector. This is a challenge because the wheel is old technology, no longer glittery, new and exciting.

Technology and emotion: Are they rivals?

In the past, at least as it’s represented by the popular television show, advertising was all about appealing to emotions. And creating sentiment is what Don Draper does best. In another episode, he even claims that marketers invented the idea of love to sell products to consumers. In this particular scenario, Draper turns away from technology to emphasize story. In his mind, this is far more powerful than anything technology can do. In his pitch, he ends up combining the idea of technology with nostalgia to create a powerful speech that awes the Kodak employees and sends one of his own team members crying from the room.

In the end, maybe advertising in the “Mad Men” era isn’t so different from advertising today. Storytelling and emotion still play a key role in successful marketing. When these tools are combined with technology, particular the analytics systems available today, marketers can craft powerful messages and measure their success in a way that wasn’t possible for Don Draper.

The power of storytelling

In this scene, Don talks about nostalgia, referring to its Greek definition, which means “a pain from an old wound,” he says. To make the Kodak projector wheel exciting, he decides to rename it “the carousel,” to evoke a sentiment of childhood. He refers to this wheel as a time machine, which transports people back to a moment they wish they could relive.

In other words, he crafts a powerful metaphor that introduces a new product and makes it exciting by relating it to an object that everyone is familiar with, but also one that people generally associate with youth, happiness and freedom. This concept is one of the same fundamental ideas that Switch uses when creating explainer videos for clients. While there are other aspects that go into the making of a successful product video, the concept of narrative is central to creating a memorable video. Not only does a story help people care about a product, it also helps them remember the information being presented by relating it to something familiar.

Technology creates new mediums and tools

Like it or not, things have changed a great deal since the 1960s. The mediums are evolving all the time. Promotions are increasingly taking place online and utilizing new formats like streaming video and social media platforms like Vine and Instagram to relay advertisements. It’s rare that marketers work in film like Kodak, and photo projectors have themselves become obsolete objects of nostalgia. Another change that has come about in the contemporary era is that embracing technology has become increasingly important. Using metrics to measure the success of online videos can help marketers maker campaigns that work better. When it comes down to it, digital tools and good old-fashioned storytelling still work together to make campaigns that people engage with.

From Kodak to Vine: Marketing in the Mad Men Era and Today was last modified: by

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