(Author's Note: Legal Disclaimer: All names, places, trademarks and copywrites belong to their respective owners; I have not intended to defame them in anyway, nor claim to own any of the advertisements in this fan fiction. This is for entertainment purposes only.)
Chapter One- The Meeting
"Did you see the way he dressed? That last one was a loser, I swear I saw him on Howdy-Doody time last week" Roger Sterling said as he brought another sip of scotch to his thin lips. "We need real talent if we're going to impress anyone, or scare people. BBDO needs to be afraid of us!" He waved the glass around in the air dramatically. Bert Cooper had nodded off in the corner seat of the sofa. Don readjusted himself in his chair.
"Joan, how many more people do we have scheduled for today?" He pushed his brows together slowly looking onto his paper sheet where he had been doodling for the previous three hours.
"Just one, Mr. Draper: Michael Falco, from Arlington, Virginia." She replied, staring intently at the interview statements. Don stood from his shallow seat, stretched a little, and meandered towards his intercom.
"Helen, could you send in Mr.…. Falco, please?" He released the button, and reached for a cigarette lying on the desk. Bert rustled in his seat and then began snoring. Roger turned and yelled at the wall, "Hurry, this guy's gonna die of old age…" He was briefly cut off by the crank of the office door swinging open. "Ahhhh, our swan song!" Roger laughed to himself, finishing off the scotch. Don walked over to greet the newest reject.
"Michael, or do I call you Mike?" Don's hand extended and a coy smile crossed his lips.
"Just Mike is fine" he received the hand and shook it.
"Mike, I'm sure you know who Roger Sterling and Bert Cooper are." Don waved a hand towards the men seated on the far couch.
"Of course I do, pleasure to meet you… both?"
Roger laughed deeply and replied, "Don't worry, I don't bite. Father Time here missed his nap today." Mike smiled and extended his hand. Roger met it and looked up, "Can I get you something?" glass in hand, pointing to the drink assortment.
"See Don, I like this kid already!" Roger waltzed over to the small table and poured another round.
Don moved over slightly and gestured. "This is Joan Harris, our head secretary" Joan finally had a moment to glance up. She nodded politely and smiled in his direction.
"Nice to meet you Mr. Falco" She tilted the chair and examine the man before her. His cloudy blue green eyes caught hers and held them. His blond hair; perfectly side-parted, jaw was angular, but prominent, his old suit was well fashioned on him: not too short, not too long. Her heart twinged a bit.
"Please, it's Mike." He smiled unwaveringly and reached for her hand.
"Okay, break it up over here. She's a missus, you know that?" Roger threw himself between the two, handing Mike his drink.
"Just getting friendly."
"Little too friendly…"
Don cut in; "Roger why don't we all just sit down."
"Fine, Fine! Sometimes you gotta stand up for the ladies, you know."
"I'm sure Joan can handle herself." Don said, taking a seat once again.
"So Mike, why advertising?" He lifted up the pen pad, and began doodling.
"It just happened for me. I've always loved drawing; the beautiful art behind a picture, the thought and process of a masterpiece. Then we have people: always willing to do what you tell them. Mindless drones that follow a trend: you put words and art in front of their faces and they see nothing until one person says "See here". "See here" is that one person who starts a revolution. Every advertisement is a revolution waiting to happen. Everybody wants part of that revolution, and also wants no part in being second place during it. I want to be the man who makes everyone feel like they've started a revolution. That is advertising."
"Well said," Bert finally piped up. It was short lived though, and he quickly slumped over snoring.
Don dropped his pen, and cocked a weary eyebrow.
"Where did you work before this?" he enquired.
"A steel foundry" Mike laughed slowly.
"Well thanks Castro, my people need me" Roger raised his glass to Mike, then drank the rest of it. He stared at the bottom of the glass, and laughed to himself.
The door flew open as Peggy barged into the room with Stan at her side.
"Look Don, this isn't working. Kodak's deadline is Tuesday and I don't have enough time to re-write this slogan…" She looked around the room and noticed everyone was staring at her. "Shoot, I'm sorry… I didn't know there was a meeting."
"That's why you knock, Peggy" Joan said acerbically. Don glared angrily at her. She was turning beet red.
"What do you got?" he shot.
"Kodak, we sell you more than just pictures, we sell you memories."
Don leaned back in his chair. "It's missing something: Personality, a connection, just something. Stay late tonight, and tell me what you have tomorrow morning. We'll restart there. I want everyone on the Kodak account in my office by 11:00."
Mike had his head cocked to the side and he slowly spun around to Peggy in his chair.
"You aren't selling memories. People make memories: they can't be sold to someone. They'll feel like it isn't their memory they're making. Think deeper. What is a memory" Mike trailed off. Don smiled and Roger leaned forward on the sofa. "Enlighten us boy." Roger stumbled through the few words. Mike was looking past Don now. He stood, and walked to look outside.
"You're giving people the ability to capture a moment. But not just any moment… A picture moment: A moment so precious to people because it is all too easily forgotten unless it's on film, unless it's tangible. Film gives you the ability to see back in time, to relive moments. Kodak is a tangible moment. Simply put: a Kodak moment."
Peggy stood motionless and quietly replied, "That's perfect..."
Stan leaned over and whispered, "Who the hell is this guy?"
Bert Cooper had finally woken up. "The man is talking real sense. When did we hire him?"
Don stood from his lounge chair, walked over to Mike and shook his hand.