3 Bits of Advertising Wisdom from Mad Men

Ian Lurie


I just started watching Mad Men. After one episode, I’m hooked.
That first episode offers some great lessons if you’re in advertising:

  1. Inspiration has a place. At one point, the main character, drawing a blank about an account (a tobacco account, so I wasn’t necessarily rooting for him), draws a great idea out of thin air. That rarely happens. But it does happen. Sometimes you have a great idea that can’t be backed up by research, and you have to run with it anyway.
  2. Advertising, in part, is there to make people happy. If you’re creating internet marketing, print advertising or anything else, what about the product or service will make improve folks’ lives? It sounds corny, but there is nothing more compelling. People bought pet rocks because they made them happy. They could’ve gone into their yards and adopted a rock from their front lawn, but bought a rock, instead.
  3. Speak the truth. Believe in what you’re selling. You can’t be convincing if you don’t. Plus, frankly, if you lie, you suck.
Ian Lurie
CEO & Founder

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent and the EVP of Marketing Services at Clearlink. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Follow him on Twitter at portentint, and on LinkedIn at LinkedIn.com/in/ianlurie.

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