Digital Killed Don Draper

I loved Mad Men. It was a show I binge watched over the span of several weeks. Something about it resonated with me. Maybe it was the skinny ties, the fitted suits, or the fully stocked bars in corner offices. What’s not to love. Then on May 17, 2015, after seven seasons, it was suddenly gone. What happened?

Coinciding with Mad Men’s end in 2015 is an interesting digital marketing trend. 2015 represented a significant shift in how the companies spent marketing dollars. According to eMarketer mobile ads in 2015 grew to 50% of all digital ad spend. The digital revolution proved to be more than a fad and it was here to stay.


One of Mad Men’s ancillary benefits was the motivation it gave me to be creative when addressing challenges facing a client. Being a lifelong technology consultant, I gravitate towards solutions involving technology. However, after binging on the latest shenanigans of Don Draper, I often found myself motivating our team to think blue sky, aspirational during our brain storming sessions – which many times led to solutions that had nothing to do with technology. Something about Peggy and Don leading a team to think outside of the box was magical. It always ended with the same result. An amazing jingle.

Small Segway for those of you not familiar with jingles. They are these bite sized tunes or short slogans that immediately cause you to think of a brand. It’s that muscle memory that makes you think McDonald’s when you hear, “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun!”

My top 5 jingles of all time:

#5  – I Wish I Was An Oscar Meyer Wiener

# 4 – Stuck on Band-Aid Brand

#3 Like a Good Neighbor

#2 Give Me a Break

#1 Two All Beef Patties, Special Sauce


Back to your regularly scheduled program.

Our ‘nowconomy’ has killed the jingle and possibly one of my favorite TV series of all time. Don’t get me wrong, we still see the occasional jingle but not like we did pre-2015. In the ‘nowconomy’ if we can’t experience it within minutes, it’s not worth trying. Now more than ever, we want to experience our brands rather than hear about our brands. Uber, Airbinb, Amazon, facebook, and countless others have all spoiled us. They gave us amazing products that remove friction in every way possible.

Gone are the days of spending millions on a jingle and now are the days of scaling your product by getting your customers to experience your product before they even know what your product is. Take the following case in point. I heard about this interesting product called Sift the other day.

It’s an app that sounded interesting but I was not really sure what it did. I downloaded it and within minutes I become a raging fan. Why? Because I installed the app, linked my Amazon account, a couple of credit cards, my gmail account, and within minutes the app started showing me ways it could put money in my pocket. I later learned Sift does this by doing the legwork for you on credit card benefits most of us rarely utilize. Things like purchase protection in the form of refunds when Amazon prices drop or trip delay reimbursement on flights. Sift has no jingle. It just works. And now I am advertising it for them for no reason other than it was a truly frictionless experience in an area that previously was frictionful. Before Sift I filed cumbersome claims with credit card companies to leverage my extended warranty benefits. Now? I just press a button and somehow magic happens.

I can’t say I want to go back to a world where I have to wait in a taxi line or go to the mall during the holidays. Digital has made our lives much easier in ways we have yet to imagine. BUT I do want to see Don Draper ordering an Old Fashioned at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon while closing a client.

Dipesh Patel

Dipesh has over 15 years of technology and management consulting experience in information technology strategy, program and project management, and business process optimization. His experience spans across the travel and hospitality, energy, telecommunications, non-profit, and financial services industries. Dipesh has assisted Fortune 500 and mid-size organizations develop technology strategies and solutions that support their objectives.
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