Why Don Draper Would Hate Hyperlocal | Street Fight

Why Don Draper Would Hate Hyperlocal

Why Don Draper Would Hate Hyperlocal

Is Don Draper invisible? Pete Campbell couldn’t find him. His secretary had no appointments on the books, and yet he was never around. He didn’t show his face to his ex-wife and her new husband; and if he’d had his way, no one at his surprise birthday party would have seen him either.

Don’t give this guy a Foursquare account.

Even if you set aside the fact that this season’s Don Draper, so far, never seemed less interested in advertising, cable’s leading ad man is about the big picture. He may not have waxed poetic to a kidney bean client over an underling’s “Art of Supper” pitch about a “bean ballet” commercial, but Draper is an emotional character. And so is his view on advertising. He would hate hyperlocal.

In hyperlocal, customers don’t need to be sold on a bean ballet; they need a coupon for a can of beans when they’re standing right in front of one.

But hyperlocal is at once both more emotional and more functional. Many brands are still stuck in the days of Don Draper, failing to see that the potential for a lasting bond is even greater with hyperlocal (and delivers better ROI). Campaigns on services like LevelUp, LivingSocial or DNAInfo have more resonance precisely because they are tied to where you are. They tap into your good feelings around, say, your favorite pizza place, a connection that doesn’t require the same kind of shaping by big media or advertising mavens. In hyperlocal, customers don’t need to be sold on a bean ballet; they need a coupon for a can of beans when they’re standing right in front of one.

Draper would not like that hyperlocal can be a little messy. Draper loathes the idea of unpolished messaging — but that’s what you get when you leave it to the crowd and the cloud to shape your brand and deliver customers. God would he hate the gossipy aspect of hyperlocal (he might actually die from discomfort over Topix, or the transparency of Foursquare, not to mention the Big Brother-ness of Highlight).

Further, in the pre-Groupon era of “Mad Men,” coupons are “that kind of baloney,” in the words of one copywriter.

Draper is stuck in the land of hearts-and-minds, pitching brands like Kodak, as in the memorable first-season episode where, with a melody playing behind him, he talks about the Kodak Carousel as a “time machine” that “takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the ‘wheel,’ it’s called the ‘carousel.’ It lets us travel the way a child does. Round and round, and back home again. To where we know we are loved.”

What better way to describe hyperlocal?

Cue the music, Don Draper, and fire up your phone.

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