This morning I was feeling nostalgic. I had a deep, uncontrollable, inherent need to get back to my roots.  To get grounded in the history and glory days of my chosen profession.

So I clicked on Netflix and went straight to the most impactful TV moment ever recorded … Season 1, episode 1 of MadMen.

As a community bank and credit union marketer, I don’t know if I’ve ever witnessed a scene that speaks to me more than this:

Don Draper pitching to Lucky Strike after the government declares that cigarette companies can no longer claim health benefits.

Don: We have six identical companies making six identical products. We can say anything we want. 

How do you make your cigarettes?

Lucky Strike: We breed insect repellent into tobacco seeds. Plant them in the North Carolina sunshine. Grow it. Cut it. Cure it. Toast it…

Don: Well, there you go! There you go. 


“It’s Toasted”

Luck Strike: But everybody else’s tobacco’s toasted.

Don: No, everybody else’s tobacco is poisonous … Lucky Strike’s, is toasted.

Look at your market. You have countless identical banks and credit unions. All offering identical products: Some version of free(ish) checking. Car loans. Home equity. Mortgages. CDs. Savings.

All are staffed by good people from the local community.

All have some version of history in your town.

How can you “Get Toasted” this weekend?

What makes this scene great isn’t that Don focuses on what everyone else is saying. He focuses on what they are NOT saying … like appreciating the notes between the notes in jazz.

“But everyone’s tobacco’s toasted.”

Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.

(someone please revive the compliance officer!)

Of course, tell the truth, be honest, but don’t forget that your potential customers don’t know, understand or care about all of the inner-workings of your industry. They are simply looking for the one thing that sets you apart.

Find it … Get toasted!

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