Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Closing Time (Mad Men 411)

Because I teach business courses part-time, I often watch Mad Men and imagine how I'd apply marketing concepts discussed in class to a particular episode. It's been difficult to do this in Season 4. At the risk of splitting hairs, Mad Men takes place in an ad agency, but it's not necessarily about an ad agency. Certainly, the writers do their homework and Men Men gets the advertising stuff more right than, say, Star Trek's regular disregard for the laws of the physics. But, episodes like "The Wheel" — a textbook example of how to sell a product's benefits (sizzle) rather than its features (steak) — have taken a backseat to the development of character-driven storylines. I'm just humbly pointing this out, not complaining.

That said, "Chinese Wall" could be screened in a "Techniques of Selling" class. The different sales calls it depicts are worthy of an academic discussion. One question I'd assign the class to consider while watching it would be:

How would you rank the salespeople depicted in this episode?

...Full Post at Basket of Kisses

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