My Love: Mad Men Carousel Pitch

Mad Men is one of the greatest TV series ever written and at the very end the finale of season we see one of the greatest pitches ever shown on TV. I’m going to show you why I love this pitch so much.

Carousel Pitch

Let’s set the scene we have Don Draper faced with what is otherwise known as a slide projector. Two executives from the company in question are sat there and they say to Don, Don what have you come up with for our wheel?Client: “So have you figured out a way to work the wheel into it?

Marketing 101

The first thing Don does is it gives us a master class in marketing and that is never talk about the function, talk about the benefits of the product.
Don Draper: “That you have technology is a glittering lure but there’s the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash. If they have a sentimental bond with the product.
Don Draper describes how the product will benefit the people using it rather than going through its function as a slide projector.

Don Draper: “This device isn’t a spaceship it’s a time machine. Goes backwards forwards. Takes us to a place where we all want to go again.
Take for example a Ferrari versus a Nissan Micra. They perform the same function getting an individual or more than one individual from A to B but, Ferrari is something that drives people’s ambitions it’s what many people dream about. It’s much more than a means of transport. It is a status symbol which is something that says; I have arrived. I have achieved something in life. Let alone all the exhilaration that it gives you.

Asterix I’ve actually owned a Nissan Micra and they’re not all that bad.

Importance of New in the Pitch

The second thing that Don Draper does is he talks about the product being new. N, E, W. It intrigues us because we haven’t worked out what it’s quite easy yet.
Don Draper: “He told me the most important idea in advertising is new.

He actually says no this is not about something new; this is about nostalgia, the opposite of new. He’s using an antithesis. He’s turning a normal concept on its head and making it sound rather positive.

Don Draper: “Nostalgia, it’s delicate.

Don Draper really isn’t talking about something new or the opposite of new. Really he is talking about the fear of loss.

Pitch With Emotion

Third, and finally the thing which Don Draper does very best here is he generates a huge sense of emotion. He drops the lights and he shows us the slides and he talks in a very soft steady tone about memories.
Don Draper: “It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. Lets us travel the way the child travels around and around back home again. To a place where we know we are loved.
And the memories it brings up happen to be photographs of him and his wife who happens to be two very beautiful people showing them with children showing them getting married showing them being extremely happy and having tremendous joy. All of these things the audience can connect with because these are universal experiences which we will all have probably at one time or another in our lives. he draws straight into the audience’s emotions.

What’s the effect of this? Just take a look at what happens to Don Draper’s colleague [tears].

Mad Men’s Carousel 3 Pitch Lessons

I love madmen and I love this pitch we’re taught three valuable lessons by Don Draper.
1) Number one, don’t talk about functions talk about the benefits.
2) Number two think about the fear of loss. Think about our natural desire to acquire things and how painful it is should those things be taken away from us.
3) Number three, the most powerful element in any pitch is emotion drive up the sense of emotion, get people thinking in a hot cognitive state and life becomes a lot easier.

Indeed this is the effect that Don Draper’s pitch has on his audience.