Mad Man Don Draper’s Social Media Insights

5 Don Draper Mad Men Quotes That Still Resonate Today

Don Draper’s words still resonate today because, while the Mad Men lived in an earlier less complex marketing world, the marketing issues they confronted remain the same.

The difference is that our social media infused landscape provides more communications options and requires a greater level of transparency and engagement.

Here are five Don Draper’s quotes that sound like he was talking about social media.

  1. I hate to break it to you but there is no big lie. There is no system. The universe is indifferent.
    While social media platforms are about paying-it-forward and helping other people, the reality is that they can seem amorphous and indifferent. To this end, it’s important to reach out to those who are new to your circle and help bring them into the conversation. If you’re new to social media, take some time to understand how people interact and what’s acceptable in terms of conversation. To meet other people, try out some Twitter chats and meetups, where you can get to know people over time and build relationships. One of the friendliest groups on social media is the #UsGuys on Twitter that’s a 24/7 Twitter chat that’s open and welcoming.
  2. What you call love was invented by guys like me to sell nylons.
    While advertisers associated emotions with their products and advertising to stir consumers to purchase their products (and still do), on social media platforms, customers can engage directly with companies, products and other consumers. This allows the human side of these entities to come through and stirs emotions more directly.
  3. You want some respect? Go out there and get it for yourself.
    Social media can be a great equalizer. It enables participants to earn their reputation by being an engaged, active member of the community. Build your social media cred by blogging or curating a Twitter chat while engaging with a broader audience.
  4. You don’t cover for me. You manage people’s expectations.
    This quote cuts to the heart of social media marketing. You must deliver what you promise. In the age of social media, your products and services must perform, first time, every time. Set guidelines so that your employees and customers know what’s acceptable to share. Be upfront and transparent about your dealings without divulging any confidential information. It beats being silent or covering up.
  5. If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.
    From a marketing perspective, it’s not that simple but if you follow the directions, you can help maneuver your organization in the face of a difficult PR crisis, which happens more frequently in our social media connected world. On social media networks, you must acknowledge what’s being said and show that you’re listening to people’s issues. Once you’ve done that, you can work to diffuse the power of the issue, unless you’re dealing with a BP oil spill type problem. To this end, you can produce content via blogs and other platforms to discuss related topics where the news is more positive.

At their core, Don Draper’s words epitomize social media’s principles. The fact that Don Draper spoke these words long before the rise of the computer age underscores the timeless nature of social media communications and how we interact as people.

Are there other Don Draper quotes that you find are consistent with social media? If so, please share them.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Here are some related articles with quotes from real Mad Men.

Photo credit: http://www.cowleyweb.com/sites/default/files/field/image/mad-men2.jpg

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  • Craig

    Um… You do know Don Draper’s not real, right? His words were all written in the last few years. The points stands though, you could do the same excercise with Bernbach or Ogilvy to see that the core principles of marketing have never changed. New media just help us rediscover what’s important.

    • http://riversidemarketingstrategies.com/ Heidi Cohen

      Craig–Yes I know that Don Draper isn’t real. The point is that his character while grounded in the late 1950s is still relevant today. BTW, I’ve written articles about David Ogilvy and Bill Bernbach. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen