Favorite Bit of Mad Men Dialogue

I’m catching up on Mad Men from Netflix (no cable in my household, I like commercials too much) and I LOVE the conversation Don Draper has with “Connie” from Hilton.  I lifted Don’s lines from the unlikelywords.com site as follows (and inserted a summary of Connie’s actions where it seemed necessary, but from memory):

“I’m Donald Draper.”
{Reminds him they met}
“We have, haven’t we?”
“We had a drink, of course.”
“I can’t believe you’re Conrad Hilton.”
“I’m fine.”
“I really should have known that.”
“Well, they don’t do that for everyone.”
“How did you find me.”
“Well, here I am. What can I do for you?”
{Asks him for advice on advertising}
“I think you wouldn’t be in the Presidential suite right now if you worked for free.”
“Connie, this is my profession, what do you want me to do?”
{Shows him two print ads with a mouse in a bellman’s uniform in the bottom left of the page and asks what he thinks}
“I don’t think anybody wants to think of a mouse in a hotel.”
“I might.”
“I’m not gonna lie. I’d love a chance at your business.”
{Next time somebody in a position like me asks you a question like that, you’d better think bigger.}
“Well, Connie. There are snakes that go months without eating and then they catch something, but they’re so hungry that they suffocate while they’re eating. One opportunity at a time.”

In red, my favorite lines . . . and my wish list for client understanding.  They represent the key take-aways I think many marketing and advertising professionals want to get across, especially small firms in today’s economy. Namely:

1. If you are successful, you understand that means having rules of engagement and knowing the value of your products/services, you are not willing to give them away for free.  If you are struggling, that might be a good lesson to learn (among others) and you really ought not expect any favors when we all are trying to make a living doing what we love. Don’t put us in the awkward position of having to reject you because you haven’t thought of the value of our professional marketing/advertising services.

2. It’s a profession.  If you do it yourself, you might be making big mistakes. That’s what you pay us for.  We take care of you and your brand.  Sometimes you are too close to the industry and your business; outside perspective is needed to make effective advertising claims and/or marketing messages.  You must weigh the risks and alternatives of using professionals or not and decide what that’s worth. 

3. We really do want your business and want you to succeed.  In many ways, your success is yoked with ours once we commit to an engagement.  Give us the opportunity to prove our value to you.  Understand and trust that we’re going to be straight-shooters and we mean well for your business.

4. We won’t demand too much at once. We understand your need (as a small business) to achieve large goals and we are level-headed about your goals–and ours.  We don’t need you to commit to anything but tackling the most important things first in accordance with a budget based on our assessment.  We aren’t greedy and we’ll be here for the long haul if we can nail down one opportunity at a time.  

What do you think about the scene? Its messages? My presentation of take-aways?

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