Can we do more than just sell?
Some of you may know that I write a social/political blog in addition to contributing to this one.
And I typically keep them very separate. But I wonder if that is wise?
Our industry is filled with curious, creative people with a passion for social and cultural issues. Is there a way for us to tap into that passion to create something more than a great TV spot or a sick banner ad?
In a country where money controls virtually everything, why not work with those who actually control the money—our clients—to bring about real social change? Clearly our government is not up to the task.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know our primary job is to help our clients sell shit. But there is more than one way to make a sale.
Sure, sometimes a print ad is just a print ad. And that’s fine. But if we want to create real value for our clients and make ourselves more valuable in the process, we need to bring more to the table than a few witty headlines and a nifty logo design.
And now is the time to do it.
Media is fragmented. People are busy. And everyone has ADD when it comes to taking in information.
Which is a good thing. Because it means clients are more open than ever to new ideas. Ideas that can do more than just push inventory out the door.
We’ve already seen it in action with work like the Pepsi Refresh Project and The Responsibility Project from Liberty Mutual. These are not simple ads that try and push a socially responsible agenda, like the kind of crap BP peddled prior to their self-inflicted disaster last year.
No, these are intelligent campaigns that recognize that the best way for a project to come to life and actually mean something is to get real people involved.
Personally, I see no reason why we can’t do more stuff like this. It’s the kind of work we can be proud of as an industry and it’s the kind of work that our clients will benefit from as well.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to finish writing some body copy for a ½ page newspaper ad that will probably never run.
- TJ Bennett