What I love about Don Draper and the Kodak Carousel


I remember the Kodak Carousel. It was a big deal to have one and my family did not, but a friend whose parents owned one did. That meant that they also owned a camera to take the film that was converted to slides–photos that slid into the carousel tray–and a screen large enough to project them. It was almost like going to the movies, except the narrator was in the room with you and depending on how the slides were assembled, the story could change from sitting to sitting.

Here’s Don Draper from Mad Men pitching Kodak, using their new product to do so, and leaving them flabbergasted with wonder by the end of his pitch. Don’s use of language–defining the word nostalgia (did Don really know a Greek named Teddy?), and using nostalgia as metaphor for the poignant things in one’s life. He ends it by calling the “wheel” by its new and brilliantly coined name: Carousel. He leaves the Kodak execs literally speechless.

The perfect example of compelling storytelling and it sold Kodak on the name.