My first job, I was in-house at a fur company, with this old-pro copywriter, a Greek named Teddy.
Teddy told me the most important idea in advertising is ‘new’. It creates an itch. You simply put your product in there as a kind of calamine lotion.
But he also talked about a deeper bond with the product: nostalgia.
It’s delicate, but potent.
Teddy told me that in Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound”.
It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone.
It goes backwards, forwards, takes us to a place where we ache to go again.
"It's like a carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels: round and around, and back home again, to a place where we know we are loved."
Okay, I confess...
I’ve never worked with an old Greek called Teddy.
The above aren’t actually my words.
And I’ve definitely never sold any fur coats.
The above are in fact the words of Don Draper. Or, more accurately, those of Matthew Weiner, the writer of Mad Men, who penned them for John Hamm, who played Don Draper.
Set in the ‘50s, the show mostly follows the life of Don: his marriage, his affairs, his career as a high-flying copywriter in the burgeoning ad industry.
In the scene I’ve pinched the monologue from, Don has devised a pitch to help Kodak sell their new photograph projector. You can check out the full scene below: