What Would Don Draper Do with Web Conferencing?
September 20, 2011 @ 02:37 PM | By Jill Huselton
As I was sitting in an online meeting yesterday, my co-workers and I were killing time while we waited for the last participant to join. Our conversation hit on the weather, then we talked about what Two and a Half Men would be like without Charlie, which led us to the Emmy awards. That got us to Mad Men and how we, as marketing professionals, love the show, particularly the advertising aspect.
I started watching Mad Men this summer, once it came out through Netflix streaming, and I have to say, I’m hooked. It’s slow, but you can’t help but be drawn in to life in the 60s. And I’m fascinated with the culture that’s depicted: men wearing fedoras, everyone smoking cigarettes, kids not riding in car seats and a single black and white TV sitting in the center of the living room. I’m also shocked at the Sterling Cooper scene, where ‘the girls’ (aka executive assistants) serve drinks, take hats and coats and type memos on their typewriters, all while fending off the advances of their bosses.
During our pre-meeting chatter yesterday, we asked, What would Don Draper do if he sat at his desk to pitch a new concept using a web conferencing service or walked into his board room and found a telepresence video conferencing system ready to broadcast his image halfway around the world? I bet he would miss the martinis and shrimp cocktail that he and his team have at the conference room table each time a major client comes into town to review a new campaign. He’d not take as many business trips, which for Don, would probably be a good thing. And he could stop giving those admonishing glares to his creative team for cracking jokes and looking ‘the girls’ up and down every time one of them interrupts a meeting because they would all be at their computers reviewing a new slogan instead of sitting in Don’s office having happy hour at 11 AM.
I’m intrigued by the show and during each episode, I try to picture myself living in the 60s and am constantly comparing what I see to how things are today. It makes me appreciate how life, and work, have changed: equal rights, computers, seat belts, microwaves, phone systems, the list goes on. While I enjoy shrimp cocktail, I think I’ll take my web conference any day.
What about you? What would be the best thing about living/working in the Mad Men era? Would you stick with life in the 21st century?