|Will Virtue Ever Fit in Advertising?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
Love your neighbor. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Have it your way.
Which one of those sayings seems out of place? Of course it's the third phrase; though Burger King is found in many neighborhoods, you doesn't see the managers or staff too worried about the love between neighbors. The preceding two phrases are principles most commonly found in our social fabric. Guidelines, as it were, we should follow in order to thrive as a community and to live peacefully amongst each other. Two simple ways of living and thinking.
Do those messages permeate through AdLand's advertising? In most cases, no.
This is a topic of conversation that Twist Image President Mitch Joel and philosopher Alain de Botton have both brought up. Joel, following de Botton's lead, wants a conversation started about what kinds of messages advertising agencies should be commissioned to create and push. Yes, we are all accustomed to the commercial messages we see each and every day, but they are talking about messages about life, love, and community, which they believe our members of society need to hear and see every day. De Botton especially dreams of a reality where agencies build campaigns around respect and compassion, instead of supply and demand.
It is unlikely that the idea de Botton has for advertising agencies will ever exist in its purest form. But, we would think that a form of this could be realized.
Our society could commercialize virtue and see what happens.
Yes, imagine clothing lines, accessories, cars, and billboards that read truths like "give a stranger a smile today" or "treat someone as yourself today." If the adage "our eyes will train our hearts" is true, then will not postering up words of wisdom give birth to wisdom? Will signs and ads of compassion and forgiveness pave ways for such traits? Unfortunately, in a consumption society and an economy that depends on people buying things, unless we change the system, this ideal kind of advertising has to fit the mold. As de Botton said in this web video, the advertising itself isn't the problem, it is what is being advertised. So if the monetary drive is still there, we can see this new form of advertising being implemented.
What say you?
Photo Courtesy of: Pura Vida Wordly Art
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