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President Tags Advertising as World's Superhero
By: Jed Moran
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Thursday, at the Cannes Ad Festival or alais des Festivals, President Clinton took the stage to speak to the world of advertising, saying: "I want to leave this earth knowing that my daughter and the grandchildren I hope to have will live in a world where our common humanity matters more than our interesting differences. And I can't think of any other group of people more likely to make it happen than you."
Now that’s a pretty bold statement, especially coming from such a big and bold guy. Politics is nothing if not advertising. But wherever you fall in the political spectrum, there’s no two ways about it: it takes a pretty special brand of power and strategy to become the President of the United States of America. So in the case of President Clinton — a guy, might I remind you, who continues to make his mark on a global level well past his presidency — it might behoove one to listen. After all, he just might know what he’s talking about.
At Cannes, while speaking specifically to the unique power that lies within the art of advertising — its ability to conjure up interest in even the most mundane — Clinton brought up his favorite current ad, that Direct TV campaign put together by Grey (the same one I mentioned a few blogs back, if you’ve been following along) where the consumer is warned of all the bad things that could happen if he or she sticks with “regular old cable.” He used this as an example to illustrate the power found in humor and creativity. And that, boys and girls? That’s the particular magic he’s asking the world of advertising to use, not only to sell cable off-shoots, but to, in no uncertain terms, change the planet.
He went on to say: “Use your power to communicate to help solve some of the world's biggest problems. A lot of the facts that will form the trend lines of the future are not apparent to people. The communicators will have a profound influence on how the next 20–30 years will turn out. What people need is honest, synthesized communication. You can do that." Again, politics — be they global or national — are nothing more than advertising in many ways. "We need to figure out the image and the self-image of the Greeks," Clinton went on to say. "How can they break out of the shackles of their financial record and the perception that they can't cut it? They can."’
Grey spokesman Owen Dougherty put it best. When speaking of Clinton, he said, “Probably no world leader other than Churchill has seen more ups and downs in life, and he has always triumphed with grace and humor.” I agree. So maybe it’s time to buck up, put our collective creative advertising brains together, and heed Bill’s words: "We can do this," he said. "But we need people like you to fire our imagination and fill our brains as well as our hearts. You know how to overcome people's inherent resistance to hearing a set of facts they hadn't imagined were true, yet are."
People of AdLand… make it happen!

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About the Author
Jed Moran is "that dude" tryin' to ... "Make it in Hollywood." My hustle 'til I pop like a white Will Smith??? Writing wacky ad/copy for the TV/Film business. Find him online here.
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