#don draper

An absolutely fascinating theory by Lindsey M Green — what if Mad Men ends by Don Draper getting on a plane and morphing into D.B. Cooper:

The highjacker’s chosen flight attendant went to the cockpit to inform the pilot. When she returned to her post, the hijacker was wearing dark sunglasses. Throughout the ordeal, Cooper kept up conversation with the flight attendants, who later described him as “nice, thoughtful, polite, calm and well spoken.” They noted that he was in no way nervous, and he even pointed out landmarks on the ground to them. When he ordered a second bourbon and soda, he paid his tab, insisting the flight attendant keep the change.

When you think about it, this isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Don (or Dan or even Dick) Bertram Cooper — D.B. Cooper — has a nice ring for someone who has to change their name (again) to board a plane and get away…

Two good thoughts by Stephen Baker for The New York Times. First on the move towards advertising being fully data-centric:

While the rise of search battered the humanists, it also laid a trap that the quants are falling into now. It led to the belief that with enough data, all of advertising could turn into quantifiable science. This came with a punishing downside. It banished faith from the advertising equation. For generations, Mad Men had thrived on widespread trust that their jingles and slogans altered consumers’ behavior. Thankfully for them, there was little data to prove them wrong. But in an industry run remorselessly by numbers, the expectations have flipped. Advertising companies now face pressure to deliver statistical evidence of their success. When they come up short, offering anecdotes in place of numbers, the markets punish them. Faith has given way to doubt.

Data has spoiled everyone. It can’t just be about the data or advertising will die. It has to be creative and quantified. Don Draper still needs to exist in this world; some people have simply been tricked into thinking data can replace him. Those people are stupid.

Second, on “social media” as a conduit for advertising:

Dave Morgan, a pioneer in Internet advertising and the founder of Simulmedia, an ad network for TV, points to the early years of electricity. In the late 19th century, most people associated the new industry with one extremely valuable service: light. That was what the marketplace understood. Electricity would displace kerosene and candles and become a giant of illumination. What these people missed was that electricity, far beyond light, was a platform for a host of new industries. Over the following years, entrepreneurs would come up with appliances — today we might call them “apps” — for vacuuming, laundry and eventually radio and television. Huge industries grew on the electricity platform. If you think of Apple in this context, it’s a $496 billion company that builds the latest generation of electricity apps.

Brilliant way to think about it. It’s easy to be blinded by the first innovation to spring from a new technology and think that nothing else will follow. Something else always follows.