Art & Design Magazine

What is the Benefit of That Thing?

By Told By Design @toldbydesign

The advertising campaign for a product is also an important part of the design process, and it includes the naming and graphics, among other issues. This two are explained in Donald Draper's presentation of the Kodak Carousel 550, an innovative slide projector from the beginning of the 60s. Although the fictional discourse is really interesting, the Kodak Carousel campaign in the series differs from the real.
Kodak is just one of the several real brands that appears in Mad Men, but is not the only one that its campaign has little similarity with the ones that actually ran in the 1960′s.

What is the benefit of that thing?

Duck Philips (Mark Moses) - It's actually, a hell of a gadget. Continuous, doesn't jam. They call it the Doughnut or the Wheel. They're expecting something along those lines.
Don Draper (Jon Hamm) - Kodak reinvented the wheel. They're going to hear that 10 times.
Duck - They actually want you to use the words "Research" and "development" in the ads. But if you could find a way to put the Wheel and the Future into something with some legs, you could make me look good my first month here.

[...]

Don - What is the benefit of that thing?
Harry Crane (Rich Sommer) - It sells projectors to people who already have them.
Don - Yeah, the Wheel. Stacks, you store your slides in it, and it's ready to go.
Harry - I took pictures for the paper at Wisconsin. The machinery is definitely part of the fun. It's mechanical.
Don -What did you take pictures of?
Harry - Girls, mostly.

[...]

Duck Philips - This is Joe Harriman and Lynn Taylor. No Eastmans today, unfortunately. They're all back in the lab.
Lynn Taylor - It's a wonderful facility, but they don't take vacations.
Duck - What do they show, slides of them working?
Joe Harriman - So, have you figured out a way to work the Wheel into it?
Lynn Taylor - We know it's hard because wheels aren't really seen as exciting technology, even though they are the original.
Don Draper - Technology is a glittering lure, but there's the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on the level beyond flash, if they have a sentimental bond with the product. My first job, I was in-house at a fur company with this old pro copyrighter, a Greek named Teddy. And Teddy told me the most important idea in advertising is "New". Creates an itch. You simply put your product in there as a kind of... calamine lotion. But he also talked about a deeper bond with the product: nostalgia. It's delicate... but potent.
Teddy told me that in Greek "Nostalgia" literally means the pain from an old wound. It's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn't a space ship. It's a time machine. It goes backwards, forwards. It 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 travels. Around and around and back home again... to a place where we know we are loved.
Duck - Good luck at your next meeting.


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