He used some inside industry information and part of the agency’s $3000 payment from Honda to dupe the other agency into thinking SCDP was breaking the rules and producing a TV spot. Of course, Ted Chauogh had to one-up Don. Don would use that as a way to make an impression of honor and redeem the agency with Honda. It worked. As it turned out, Honda motorcycles stayed with Grey and the pitch was a smokescreen for the upcoming car account pitch. SDCP was in and Don, Pete, and Lane all basked in the success.
The dynamics of this situation reflected what often happened in new business pitches. Things weren’t always what they seemed to be on the client side — agencies would do whatever it took to get intelligence about the competitors' campaigns, personalities slugged it out, and the egos often met each other in the lobby coming in and out of the presentations. The head games were classic and the art of second guessing was elevated to new levels.
Probably one of the best at all of this showmanship and a great creative leader was Jerry Della Femina. His agency turned out great creative work, and Jerry was a master of head games and using the power of the press. Jerry was a great friend of my mentor and partner, Shep Kurnit, and Shep always had a story to tell about his antics. Jerry wrote a wonderful book about his exploits in the Mad Men days, From The Wonderful People Who Brought You Pearl Harbor. It’s just been reissued. I recommend you pick it up. You won’t be disappointed.
Oh, and by the way, it looks like Don may be embracing research at the agency and attending a few more focus groups now that he's found out that Faye is single. Let's see.