Thursday, 10 April 2014

Don Draper - Window Washer Till The End

His window-washing career continued right until the tragic end of his life.
Don Draper 1925 – 2014: The carousel ride is over - With Mad Men’s last season (sort of) kicking off April 13, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to speculate on the demise of its main character (oh, come on, you know it’s coming).

Loyal father, loyal-ish husband, boozy grandfather, Donald “Don” Draper lived a full life marked with stellar ups and downs. Little is known about the early life of Don Draper, besides the fact that he fought in the Korean War and absolutely did not die and then have his identity stolen by another man.

Draper rose to prominence in advertising as creative director at the firm Sterling Cooper (later to be renamed Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Holloway Ginsberg Romano) and was responsible for some of the greatest ad campaigns ever, such as Kodak’s “It’s a Carousel, Like Life, I Guess” and Clearasil’s “Oh God Your Face.” Many of these campaigns won prestigious Adverty Awards.

Draper continued to have great success until the 1980s, when he began to lose his magic touch, starting with the campaign for Colgate Frozen Dinners. His now infamous slogan, “Give Yourself a Good Reason to Brush Your Teeth,” sunk the product line and managed to actually drive sales of Colgate’s toothpaste down as well, as he insisted the toothpaste be rebranded as being only for use after a Colgate Frozen Dinner.

The campaign that finally ended Draper’s long advertising career was for Coca-Cola. Looking to spike their sales, Coca-Cola enlisted Don to come up with new product ideas. In one of his first meetings with the company, Draper took a drink of the classic cola and immediately spit it out in disgust, unused to consuming non-alcoholic beverages. He told Coca-Cola that they needed to start over and came up with the idea for New Coke, which was originally 65% rum. Due to U.S. Food and Drug Administration demands, that was reduced to 0% and New Coke flopped. Don Draper’s slogan, “Coke is Garbage,” also did not help regain customers when New Coke was fully abandoned.

His window-washing career continued right until the tragic end of his life.
After his dismissal from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Holloway Ginsberg Romano, Draper left his fourth wife and moved to Cupertino, California, taking a job as a window washer. Like he did in the advertising world, Draper rose through the ranks quickly, winning several Windowy Awards for his speed and trademark creativity in window washing. He eventually made partner and the company he worked for was renamed Buscema & Sons & Draper.

His window-washing career continued right until the tragic end of his life. On March 28, Draper was washing the 14th floor windows of Apple, Inc. headquarters, when he took notice of the meeting happening within. Apple staff were brainstorming the upcoming ad campaign for their new wearable computer, the iWatch. Draper, probably seeing this as his chance to re-enter “the game,” began banging on the window, shouting, “Just Watch Me!” over and over again at the top of his lungs. The people inside the room were stunned and fled, just in time to miss seeing the platform holding Draper and his trusty bucket, “Deeandra,” give way, resulting in his fatal fall.

Donald Draper is survived by his seventh wife Olga and a lot of kids. He was 89.

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