Copywriting lessons from seven seasons of Mad Men

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One of the interesting things about the recently ended Mad Men series was how it so often pitched its way out of the confines of the TV soap opera and into the real world of a creative advertising agency.

As a Creative Director who escaped the clutches of McCann-Erickson myself, there are lessons from the series for not just about every type of creative and marketing professional, but for every business owner too.

Copyhackers has produced the useful infographic below outlining the copywriting lessons from the show from the practical, ‘If you don’t like what they’re saying about you, change the conversation,’ to the philosophical, ‘We’re gonna sit at our desks typing while the walls fall down around us. Because we’re the least important most important thing there is.’

You could do a lot worse than learn how the fictional Don Draper or Peggy Olsen confronted the emptiness and desperation of the blank sheet of paper and an immovable deadline.

In the disposable world of television and entertainment one of Mad Men’s main achievements is that it built a meaningful brand.

One of the reasons for the many creative writing insights in the show is that Mad Men was written by a intelligently led, creative team who understood only too well they were ‘the least important most important thing there is’.

But every great brand and every piece of communication you create is unique, so be careful of falling for a predictable formula as every piece of creative content you produce is different and may have a range of audiences.

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Perhaps the best lesson from Mad Men for every brand and business owner is the value and success of the Mad Men brand itself. Great dialogue and copy is not the only thing Mad Men will be remembered for.

Think of Mad Men and you probably see the distinctive and unique visual language the creators developed – the authentic recreation of an era that’s more than just another piece of nostalgia, more than retro for its own sake.

Mad Men created an instantly identifiable look and tone of voice. In the disposable world of television and entertainment one of Mad Men’s main achievements is that it built a meaningful brand. And that’s exactly what every business owner and marketing professional is trying to do.

Eugene Burns

Mad Men copywriting

Courtesy of Copy Hackers

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