Don: When a man visits a website, he's looking for something more than code and images. He's looking for
himself. He's looking for something that makes him special. But a man is nothing if he feels lost in the vastness and anonymity of the internet.
Campbell: Where are you going with this, Draper?
Don: What if the ad existed on it's own separate window? A window that would just "pop-up," as if out of thin air? Like a lightbulb flashing above your head here it is. It's the answer to the question you didn't even know you were asking.
Campbell: But why wouldn't he just minimize or close the window? What's so special about it?
Don: It's not the window that's special, Campbell. It's the man who clicks it. In fact, the window isn't a window at all. It's a mirror. It's a reflection of the man's specialness his soul. It tells him that he's the one millionth visitor, and he's won a free iPod Shuffle.
Campbell: That's preposterous!
Don: Even if he isn't actually the one millionth visitor, he's still one in a million. He's unique, he's special. That's why the ad popped up. Because of him. The pop-up ad is just for him, no one else. That's why he clicked it.
Campbell: But we can't just give away millions of iPod Shuffles!
Don: The rush of adrenaline is the real prize. The idea that a man browsing the web can have something fall into his lap, like Aladdin discovering the genie's lamp. Maybe it was fate, maybe it was luck maybe it was something within him. Even if there is no iPod Shuffle, he'll click the ad. Because he's chasing something bigger through that pop-up ad. Something primal. Clicking it is like putting down a thousand dollars on red at a roulette table in Las Vegas. It's like sky diving over Mount Everest without a parachute. It's taking that leap of faith. The leap is what counts, because it reminds you that you are alive.
Campbell: And then it'll take him to the survey?
Don: Yes, and he will fill it out. And he'll try to get 10 friends to fill it out too. He'll spam everyone in his e-mail address book to fill it out, just so he can get his iPod Shuffle. And most of them won't, because they don't believe in themselves. We'll get the information of those who do, and we will spam the crap out of them. We will fill their inboxes and spam filters with so many porn and penis enlargement mailing lists the obvious spelling errors won't even matter.
Campbell: Why wouldn't he just get pop-up blockers?
Don: Blocking that ad would be blocking his dreams it would block himself. Even if there's a one in a million chance that the ad won't lead to malware, the man will take that chance. Because he's one in a million too.