MAD MEN Season Six: Don Draper and Personal Branding

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in MAD MEN

As we wait with bated breath for the Mad Men of Madison Avenue to return for season six, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen to the slick-haired, sleek-suited characters we’ve come to know and (sometimes) love.  Season Five ended with Don teetering once again on the edge of adultery, Joan sold herself for a five percent stake in the company, and Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce loses a member. Don Draper may be fictional, but he still remains the archetype of branding’s early days, when pure, unadulterated conspicuous consumption ruled the media landscape. We don’t yet know what awaits the debonair, chain smoking lothario in season six. Despite his industry blunders (and we’re sure more are on the way) he still manages to end up on top, teaching his viewers and theoretical peers some gritty life lessons. Through the chaos, the company never lost sight that branding is at the top of their “importance totem pole.” Although Mad Men takes place in a long-passed era, the lessons learned and loves lost can just as easily be applied to the Facebook generation, Click Ahead to check them out…

Transparency is Key

In season four, Don Draper learned a hard lesson when interviewed by Advertising Age Magazine. The reporter did some digging and asked some personal questions, to which Don replied vague, almost snide answers. His misguided attempt at being humble (see: avoiding opening up) blew up in his face and caused his firm massive damage. Although he got it under control in the end (as he always seems to do), it was a mistake that could have easily been avoided if he had been more transparent in the first place. Although his path towards enlightenment is wrought with deep internal struggle, season six will undoubtedly toggle with the concept of transparency as it applies to his personal brand, both in and out of the office.

How to Apply it to Your Life

While partially adapting Don’s cool-as-ice exterior can be a plus when it comes to avoiding the dreaded “over-share,” there definitely are times to let people get to know you on a personal level. When you take to Facebook and Twitter, let your transparency shine through your creativity, not a gross-out story about your head cold.





His Reputation Precedes Him

Internal struggle with transparency or not, Mr. Draper knows how to generate buzz and allure at the mere mention of his name. Had he been at his prime in 2013, he’d have been the first client of, as he has a knack for starting rumors. Although in season five his lovely new wife seems more concerned with her burgeoning career than watching her husband’s wandering eye, the advertising world is still abuzz with what his next move might be.

With Jaguar as SCDP’s new client and an airline in tow, the growing reputation of the chic startup could go in any direction. But with Don’s smooth ability to turn challenges into opportunities, we have a sneaking suspicion things will be looking up, at least monetarily. Although the fates of his colleagues and wayward family members are uncertain, Don’s reputation always seems to land untarnished.

How to Apply it to Your Life

Managing your reputation can be a tough gig on social media, as it is very easy to tweet an offhand comment or inappropriate picture. Avoid the pitfalls by being openly communicative with your friends and enemies offline, and taking a “what if my boss saw this?” approach to social media posts.





Guest Author: Bj Decker

As an actor for TV and commercials, BJ can appreciate the effort and time that goes into producing a great television show.


You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress