This week's Mad Men episode takes us on a roller coaster ride of emotions and disappointments. The continuing saga of the Heinz account drives much of the business action in this episode. It provides an interesting look into the genesis of the idea that saves the account, the importance of building client relationships, and how a little luck and female bonding can go a long way. The other dynamic that plays out strongly is the American Cancer Society and its potential to generate new business leads for the agency. Don receives an award from the American Cancer Society for his “bold and courageous” Lucky Strike NY Times manifesto ad. Roger accompanies Don and his family to the gala, where he is eager to leverage Don's award and prospect for new business. Don finds out that getting an award isn't all that it's supposed to be and Roger receives an unexpected award of his own.
Megan Has An Idea
While the creative team is working away on Heinz, Megan lets Don know about her idea for a new Heinz campaign. The idea is sparked by Megan’s recent experience preparing dinner for Sally and how it conjures up memories with her own mother. Megan develops the idea and brings it to life across generations and into the future as a way to demonstrate that Heinz beans are an essential and emotional part of family life. Don sees the potential, embraces the campaign and offers some tag line suggestions. Megan is new at this and is feeling her way gingerly with Don, but insists that she still likes her original tag line, “Some Things Never Change”. The reason that this idea resonates is that it is grounded in emotional truth and uses the power of story. These were ingredients for great ad campaigns in the ‘60s and they are even more relevant in today’s digital, social media world.
Don tells Ginsberg and Stan to put aside their campaign and that the agency will take Megan’s big idea to the meeting. The team is upset and they complain to Peggy about it, but they reluctantly admit that Megan's is a better campaign than theirs. Peggy’s reaction is just the opposite. Rather than being resentful and threatened that Megan solved a problem that she could not, Peggy is genuinely happy for Megan. Peggy sees Megan’s victory as reminder of the thrills and trials that she went though at the beginning of her copywriting career. Peggy reinforces her support at the agency’s champagne celebration. She encourages Megan to enjoy the thrill of victory when it happens because “This is as good as it gets in advertising”. The power of female bonding is alive and well at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.