I’m sorry, but I’m not finished talking about Mad Men yet. This week, Paul and Peggy — it doesn’t matter that you don’t know them — are trying to come up with an ad campaign for Western Union. Paul feels outshone by Peggy, and is determined to impress Don. All night before the big meeting he stays in his office, drinking and brainstorming to little success until suddenly, while grabbing some leftovers from the break room refrigerator, it comes to him: the perfect idea. Satisfied, he returns to his office, pours himself another glass, and passes out on the couch.
The next morning Paul is awakened by his secretary (the same one who drove the lawn mower over someone’s foot last month), and after searching his office up and down for last night’s light bulb moment he realizes the terrible truth: He didn’t write it down. Somebody at Sterling Cooper should have ordered some promotional jotters. Paul could have slipped one in his jacket pocket on the way to the break room and saved his idea.
Fortunately, when Don hears the news he commiserates with Paul — “I hate when that happens” — and inspires Peggy to wax that “the faintest ink is better than the best memory.” Hey, couldn’t that apply to Western Union too? Then Don produces the perfect tagline for selling telegrams: “You can’t frame a phone call.”
So take a lesson from Mad Men, and make sure your company’s next big idea doesn’t fall by the wayside. Write it down with promotional jotters.
Creative Writing Intern
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