Don Draper is one of the most controversial and interesting characters TV has created for us. Draper raised the bar, and set the golden standard as the best content strategist during the golden age of advertising and over the years, he left us with some memorable quotes that still resonate with today’s advertising industry.
“Change is neither bad nor good, it simply is.”
Why does the advertising industry need to consider a change of strategy? The problem: Limitations of native advertising and lack of transparency.
With its maturation, many social media platforms have to label native ads with words like “Ad” or “Sponsor”. Even if the ads are sophisticated and primarily informational, authenticity is questioned. In addition, centralized platforms demand commissions not only for the cost of ads, but also up to 40% of the rewards from consumer activities, like for example ‘clicks’.
What would Don do when facing a saturated advertising strategy? He would probably embrace change.
The Monolith episode introduced the IBM 360 supercomputer to assist with media planning and to ‘wow’ clients, yet most of the office considered the massive computer as a threat that would eventually displace them from their jobs, except for Don. This episode is about embracing change and new technology like Don. New technology always raises suspicion amongst the general audience but eventually everyone sees its benefits. Blockchain technology is the ‘IBM supercomputer’ of our times, and the technology is tailor-made for the advertising industry; it enables creators to own their content and publish according to their own levels of creativity while securing an unbiased rewards flow. For startups, not paying commision costs to a centralized platform means saving a lot of money that could be key to survive the Death Valley period.
“Success comes from standing out, not fitting in."
When the market is oversaturated it’s hard to stand out. Today, every company thinks a famous influencer will make their product stand out. The problem: Star influencers having too much power. The current method involves advertisers compensating influencers who upload reviews or promotions that meet the advertisers’ requests. Although star influencers easily raise brand awareness, there is a distance from the original purpose of maximizing advertiser profits. It is also only one of so many digital marketing consumer touch points.
What would Don do in this case? He would probably say something like “Don't put all your eggs into one basket.” Instead, maximize outreach by utilizing other mediums of digital marketing. During ‘The Rejected’ episode, a psychologist suggests that the right marketing angle for Ponds is to stress how it improves women's marriageability. Don decides this angle is outdated and chooses to stand out with a marketing campaign that focuses on self-empowerment. The influencer marketing angle is also becoming outdated and reaching its saturation point. Instead, take the blockchain approach and stand out using decentralized advertising. Decentralized advertising solutions target every need of our digital age. Digital marketing is highly trackable and must use data for real-time optimization which can be easily accomplished using blockchain technology, in addition it provides global outreach and security with no middlemen fees.
“If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”
A bad review or negative comments are companies’ biggest fear when it comes to using social media. The problem: Bad reviews and negative comments online. Number of reviews matter when tackling negativity: one negative review in a pool of 10 reviews matter. Consequently, 50 reviews versus 5000 reviews matter. When buying a product or even choosing an Airbnb suite, we look at the number of reviews. Even if something has 5 reviews by the most famous influencers, that doesn't match the strength of 500 reviews by normal people.
What would Don do receiving negative reviews for his product? He would probably try turn negative into positive. “Love Among the Ruins” episode is about “angry New Yorkers protesting against developers who planned to tear down Penn Station to build Madison Square Garden.” Don sees the new building in a positive way, as a new beginning for the city. Don follows a similar approach when he has to advertise a cigarette brand - in times when smoking was starting to get bad reputation. He creates a new slogan ‘It’s toasted’, to highlight a “positive” quality instead of focusing on the “negative”.
Today it seems that every company wants to be featured by Kim Kardashian, but is she worth the price? Star influencers are only 0.018% of Instagram users with over 100,000 followers, therefore they have the ultimate charging power for their involvement. As their pay gets larger, influencer marketing costs do not match up to bring out the efficiency for the clients.
In reality, none of the Kardashians would be able to promote your idea better than you. Think of Kendall Jenner’s collaboration with Pepsi, a total failure. As Don Draper also said, "You are the product. You feel something. That's what sells."
Blockchain technology introduces decentralized advertising to tackle the industry inefficiencies: it eliminates centralized commision costs, it gives the power back to content creators and it allows a reward system where genuine non-sponsored reviews will soon replace influencer sponsored ads. Startups utilizing outdated advertising strategies can barely survive the Death Valley period but with a few adjustments the failure numbers can be reduced.