The hint of what was to come in the ending was summed up in this very short exchange in the episode before the finale. Don is asked to fix the coke machine
His response: “Don’t they do that”
Coca-Cola is one of the top brands of all time, and they, for the most part, outsource the “fixing” of their brand to guys like Don. They make the Coke- but, the few, the proud, the brave, come up with the ideas to sell it, which Don proceeds to do in the last scene of Mad Men, sitting on a hilltop, meditating, Ommmmmmm…… ding!
Clients often their ad agenices “to give me a new one” when what they really need is a new way to connect emotionally with their customers.
We have a favorite quote from Guy Kawasaki that fits: “advertising is the plastic surgery of business,: a procedure to make ugly and old products look good” from his book Selling the Dream, and that’s what Don does.
How the big ideas come, is still the magical part of advertising. The really big ideas, almost always fit on a cocktail napkin.