How to Reinvent Your “Wheel”

I’ve known about Mad Men, heard it was great, but just never got around to watching it until recently re-upping my Netflix subscription. I stumbled across this piece from the final episode of Season 1, when Creative Director Don Draper helps Kodak re-brand their slide projector, which they called (up until this moment) “The Wheel.”

This is the kind of stuff that made me want to get into advertising in the first place. It’s a great example of how looking at something from — literally — a new angle can entirely change how we perceive it. By turning Kodak’s “Wheel” on its side, it becomes something else entirely: a “Carousel.” But the transformation isn’t complete without one crucial ingredient: a strong emotional attachment. Only when Don Draper adds in the “nostalgia” element do we truly see (and feel) the impact that the Carousel not only has on the guys in the meeting, but also the impact that it will have on the public.

So, what’s your business’ “Wheel?” What’s the thing that, if you look at it a different way, sets your product, your service apart from the others? Once you answer that, the next question is: What’s the emotional connection you want to make? How do you want your customers to feel when they use your product or service, when they see or hear your ad, or when they think about your business?

I’ll give you a hint: It’s probably the same way you feel about your business. If you can tap the same emotion, the same passion that made you want to start your business, and then convey that emotion to your customers, then you can turn your Wheel into a Carousel.

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