Okay, so it’s hard to imagine Don Draper meeting with Bethlehem Steel executives in the Madison Avenue boardroom on the top floor of Sterling Cooper and telling them to switch to Snapchat. But while we no longer think of typewriters as “technology” or define TVs as “picture radios,” there are plenty of solid ideas from the Mad Men era that have made their way into social media.
So, let’s throw it back to a time when #ThrowbackThursday existed for some old-fashioned advice from the old-fashioned pros.
1. Do smart, thorough research
In the first episode of Mad Men, Don Draper trashes an in-house researcher’s report on the psychology of smokers and decides to give a presentation for Lucky Strike executives instead. While Draper was successful, not all ad executives were this chivalrous.
“Advertisers who ignore research are just as dangerous as generals deciphering enemy signals.” said David OgilvyFounder of Ogilvy & Mather, known as the “Original Mad Man” and “Father of Advertising”.
Ogilvy’s experience at Gallup’s Audience Research Institute taught him to value data before Big Data became a thing. His knack for research-backed copywriting is best exemplified in the headline of a 1960s Rolls-Royce ad that is widely regarded as one of the greatest automobile slogans of all time.
Today, social media marketers looking to emulate OG Mad Man’s advice should bolster their strategies with analytics platforms and research-backed ideas. Here are a few tips on how social media data might work for you.
2. Learning the rules, then breaking them
Advertising Hall of Fame has more game changers than rule-followers.
“Rules are what the artist breaks; The unforgettable is never out of a formula,” said creative director William Bernbach, co-founder of the Doyle Dane Bernbach agency in 1949.
Bernbach’s “Think Small” campaign for Volkswagen in the 1960s trashed the rulebook of traditional print advertising. In an effort to sell the compact Beetle to car-crazy Americans, Bernbach’s team left convention, imagining a very small car on a page filled with mostly empty space. The small idea turned into a huge boost in sales and brand loyalty.
Rule-breaking may seem trickier on social media, but it’s still possible. BETC’s “Like I’m Addicted” campaign surprised more than 100,000 Instagram users by revealing that Parisian “it girl” Louise Delage was a fake account designed to portray a textbook alcoholic. The initiative, created for the French organization Addict Aide, has shown that detecting signs of teen alcoholism can be difficult.
3. Avoiding bait and passing tactics
Known as the world’s first female copywriter and the author of the first commercial to use sexual attraction, Helen Lansdowne Resor was keeping the ads as factual long before the ’60s and ’70s advertising men took the stage.
His belief that “copying must be believable” can be found throughout his work, including his first copywriting for the Woodbury Soap Company in 1910. “Skin you love to touch” and “Your skin is what you want it to do” have been around for decades.
Social media marketers can take the opinion of Lansdowne Resor in two ways. First, copy shouldn’t be too exaggerated or exaggerated, especially as young people are skeptical when it comes to brands they trust. Avoid empty stereotypes or superlative expressions that may raise suspicion.
Second, don’t lie. Millennials are 43 percent more likely to highlight a brand on social media than other generations. did you dig
4. Getting to the core of everything
It’s hard to imagine that the slogan “I ❤ New York” was invented in a pre-emoji world. Sparse in word count and minimal in design, the logo symbolizes creator Jane Maas’ direct approach to advertising.
In How to Advertise, a book that Maas co-wrote with his colleague Kenneth Roman, he explains: “Commercial interest does not increase. Your audience can only care less, never more. The level you reach in the first five seconds is the highest you will ever get, so don’t hide your fists.”
This advice is appallingly applicable to video marketing, especially in the current digital media ecosystem where attention spans are getting shorter than ever among today’s teeny enthusiasts. You have to grab the attention of your audience right away or risk losing them entirely.
For more tips on creating effective video campaigns, check out The Four Key Components of a Great Social Video.
5. Using the right images
Inspired by a sea lion performance at a zoo, John Gilroy developed “My Goodness, My Guinness” for the Irish beer company in the late 1920s. The series depicts a stunned zoo keeper lifting his beer from the arms of a polar bear, the pouch of a kangaroo, and the chin of a crocodile. And of course a toucan.
The zookeeper’s comic misadventures often appear in vibrant colors against a white background. Sharp observers note Gilroy’s use of uniform typography that helps solidify Guinness’s brand image. The popularity of the artwork and the consistency of style have made it one of the longest ad campaigns in history.
Using images is a great way to improve your social media game, especially since images can help with information hiding. Marketers should ensure that the photos complement the branding and style guidelines. And if possible add the logo and logo to the picture. Consistency in style is an advantage, but it will help your followers recognize your brand on any platform.
If you don’t have access to artists, photographers or graphic designers, check out these resources to quickly create beautiful images for social media.
6. Give up the one-size-fits-all approach
Tom Burrell, the first black man in Chicago advertising, quickly saw that advertising boardrooms had a diversity problem. Often times, ad managers create content for white audiences and expect it to have broad appeal. Or they make a commercial for white actors and shoot a second version with black actors.
After witnessing a series of insensitivity and blunders, Burrell found himself repeating to his colleagues, “Blacks are not white people with dark skin.”
He was one of the first to pioneer ethnic microtargeting in advertising, advocating tailoring messages for specific communities. He founded his own agency, Burrell Communications, in 1971 and soon became an authority on crafting messages for African-American audiences.
In his work for McDonalds, Burrell felt that the company’s slogan “You deserve a break today” sounded too commonplace for many African Americans with more regular experience with the fast food chain. Instead, he found lines like “It’s nice to be around” and “Do something good at McDonald’s.”
With Generation Z, the most ethnically diverse population in US history, Burrell’s approach is one that social media marketers should put into practice.
Here’s how to find your target audience on social media.
7. Recognizing that content matters
In 1970, advertisers working for Schaefer beer created a print ad to commemorate the company’s tradition of producing America’s oldest beer. The minimal layout was designed to highlight the year Schaefer’s beer was launched, with a 10-word tagline reading: “1842. It was a very good year for beer drinkers.”
The two-page ad was placed in a number of popular publications such as LIFE Magazine. However, its placement in Ebony Magazine, a publication with a predominantly African-American readership, drew criticism.
As Tom Burrell noted in an interview with NPR Planet Money, 1842 in the United States was a year in which many black people were enslaved. “It just screamed insensitivity,” he says. “It was a terrible year for us”
Getting content wrong can make a brand appear ignorant at best. At worst, it can permanently damage a brand’s image.
On the other hand, getting the context right can have a positive effect. Wells Fargo adapted the television ad to be optimized for Facebook, where viewers prefer shorter content and can watch videos without sound. To promote the launch of Friends and prove the series’ relevance, Netflix’s Pre-Roll campaign is showing viewers a clip of the YouTube video they’re about to watch.
Social media marketers must move from cross-posting to cross-promotion with content tailored to fit each platform.
8. Engaging the audience in a conversation
In the 1950s, American advertising executive Shirley Polykoff’s personal approach to copywriting convinced women in the United States to dye their hair. “Does he… doesn’t he?” By asking your question. In her hair dye commercials, Clairol reassured women that dyeing hair—an then-new trend—can look natural.
“Copy is a direct conversation with the consumer,” he said. His slang was so effective that it has now become a part of the mother tongue: “So naturally, only the hairdresser knows for sure” and “Is it true that blondes have more fun?” Who knows, maybe if he had worked on a campaign for Rogaine we would still be using the phrase Chrome Dome.
In addition to being concise and memorable, Polykoff does something important in his copy that all modern social media marketers should consider—asking a question. Asking your audience questions is a great way to engage followers and increase the visibility of your campaigns, like Airbnb’s #TripsOnAirbnb campaign.
To keep the conversation going on social media, Airbnb asked its followers to describe their perfect vacation with three emojis. Not only did the prompt generate hundreds of replies, Airbnb kept the conversation going reply to every post With Airbnb Experience recommendations. Remember, if you want to start a meeting, follow up is essential.
More brands are also exploring opportunities to engage through direct messaging. To quickly start conversations between brands and users, Facebook introduced Click-to-Messenger ads.
Here are a few more tips from an expert on writing social media ads.
Incorporate these old-school marketing tactics into your social strategy using Moyens I/O. Easily manage your social channels and engage with followers across networks from a single dashboard. Try it for free today.