There’s not much political value we can take from Mad Men. From its Lucky Strike smoking, inebriated working, sexist actions – they don’t line up with our morals. However, there is a simple and buried line in the show that has value to political campaigns everywhere.
Peter Campbell is pitching Don Draper on an ad he’s just written. The creative is clever and poetic. While Peter is impressed with his idea, Don Draper cuts it down in five memorable words, “Don’t write for other writers.”
Running for office or working on a campaign? Here’s why that statement is of value.
The Hard Truth: We’re Nerds
We consider ourselves in the glorified category of nerds. We watch MSNBC, listen to NPR, and read a combination of Politico, Roll Call, and Daily Kos in the morning. Politics and political issues are very much of part of our life. If you’re reading this, chances are good the same is for you. We are not normal.
While we get excited talking about levy campaigns and tax reform, most people don’t. Voters are busy going about their daily lives – earning a living, spending time with their family, and so on. They simply don’t care about every single issue on a candidate’s platform no matter how much we want them to do, and chances are extremely low that the average person is going to read every issue of your campaign’s platform.
When you craft your campaign communications – stump speech, mail, or digital advertising – you need to ask yourself, “Am I writing for Don – the insider – or his wife, Betty – the typical voter?”