Tag Archives: mad men

He’s no Don Draper

Anyone who has seen Don Draper’s iconic [Carousel speech][dd] knows that nostalgia is a terribly effective agent for emptying consumers’ pockets. Apparently, a reader at Daring Fireball [saw a correlation][df] between Don’s work and a recent advertisement for [Internet Explorer][ie].

Take a moment to watch both the [Carousel speech][dd] and the [Internet Explorer ad][ie] before you move ahead. I’ll wait.

I don’t doubt that the agency responsible for the advertisement had this in mind when they scripted this piece. Unfortunately, the ad falls flat for me.

I grew up in the 90s. I saw a lot of things I remember fondly when I watched the ad; if not with a chuckle at the absurdity of the 90s aesthetic. I did feel connected with the images, but why didn’t I feel connected to the product?

Don Draper tells us we should be nostalgic, but not because we have a strong sentimental attachment to film slides. We feel what we do because of what the Carousel delivers. We insert our slides, dim the lights, and we are taken back to “a place where we know we are loved”.


Unfortunately, yeterday’s Internet is gone. Internet Explorer cannot bring it back. Therefore, the product fails to deliver on the promise of the ad. That, I think, is the disconnect, and it’s the reason the ad falls flat for me.