Marketing Lessons: Breaking Bad

By Madison Taylor
July 23, 2015
the breaking bad television logo

Every once in a while, a show comes along that quickly becomes a cultural phenomenon despite logic and reason. Thus is the story of a little show called Breaking Bad. You’d think that a television show about a chemistry-teacher-turned-meth-kingpin would be a disaster. This isn’t just an anti-hero we’re talking about … this is a full-on villain-in-the-making. But thanks to wonderful casting and fantastic writing, the showed not only worked, it excelled.

What does Breaking Bad have to do with your marketing team? Oddly enough, more than you might think.

Believing in Your Product (or Service)

For its entire run, Breaking Bad was repeatedly about one simple concept — the need for Walter White to create the perfect product for his customers. This idea permeated the entire series, even up to the very end when Walter declared, “Because I was good at it.” Yes, he was talking about his drug dealing ways as well, but first and foremost, this statement was about his pride in the product he created.

This is the attitude that your company must take. The pride you take in your product or service must permeate throughout everything that you do. You don’t want to be too pushy, of course. What you want to do is present what separates your product or service from that of your competitors, along with what a customer can expect to receive if they try you out.

Think About the Long-Term

Throughout much of the series, Walter White had a problem dealing with what he conceived as the slowness of success. He didn’t know how the world of drug dealing worked, so very often he became frustrated at the fact that things weren’t happening fast enough. This caused a myriad of problems with his associates, several of which could have been avoided had he just looked at the long-term results rather than the short-term returns.

The same is true with marketing. It is very tempting to shove everything about your company online all at once, to basically inundate potential customers with information about your company and then watch them flood your website. This may work in the short-term with some marketing initiatives, but history has shown that a slower burn is often the best way to go.

Think Outside the Box

Breaking Bad was definitely never short on “colorful” solutions to a problem. Of course, in the world of the show — since it is about drug dealers, after all — these solutions often involved threats of bodily harm, money laundering and schemes, and death. The last season is a perfect example of this, as Walter White comes up with the idea of using a pest control company to mask his illegal meth-cooking operation.

The good news is that your company won’t need to partake in such nefarious actions. What you will need to do, though, is think outside the box. Create a marketing campaign that shows your product or service in a unique light. Pay attention to trending news, and if possible, try to jump on the gravy train of social media by equating your company or what you offer to popular topics. The real goal here is to make your product stand out.

So there you have it. This just goes to show you that marketing techniques can be found anywhere if you know what to look for.