The evil omnipresence of advertising

There are ads in airports and on aeroplane food trays; over highways and on the airways. There are ads in hospitals, grocery stores and sports stadiums. They adorn walls in video games, they are splashed across cinema screens and voyeuristically gawk at us in public restrooms. Not even our schools or the bottom of pools are safe from calls to action.

H.G. Wells, had such an aversion to advertising that he once passionately proclaimed, “Advertising is legalised lying!”And Wells has much support in this regard.

Kalle Lasn, a filmmaker, author, magazine editor and activist, called advertising, “the most prevalent and toxic of the mental pollutants”.

In turn, Hanno Rauterberg, a journalist for Die Zeit wrote about advertising: “[n]o dictatorship was as cheerful as this. So colourful and happy, so brightly lit. She doesn’t want anything bad for us, definitely not. She wants to seduce us, wants our great happiness. But as in any dictatorship, there is no escape from this, the dictatorship of advertising.”

But luckily, the antidote to the perceived toxicity could lie within one of the tools we use every day: good ideas.

Houston, we have a problem

At the heart of it, creatives are problem solvers. Day-to-day tasks for designers and art directors, strategists and copywriters, centre around solving clients’ problems (briefs along the lines of “please-make-my-bang-average-brand-break-through-the-clutter” or “help-me-reach-my-until-now-unreachable-audience”) by coming up with good ideas. And for the most, we (as an industry) are pretty good at using creativity to do it.
So why not go a step further and use our good ideas for good?
Why not work towards identifying local, societal, national, or even global issues and work with our clients, and the tools at our disposal, to solve them?

Problem solved

The creative industry is uniquely equipped to come up with innovative and thought-provoking solutions thanks to the way we are trained to think, by tackling every problem with a two-pronged approach.
To create a successful campaign, we use two types of thinking; divergent and convergent.

Firstly, with our divergent caps on, we look at a problem with fresh eyes and come up with numerous original ideas (solutions) that look at the problem from every angle, without judgement or thorough analysis. This type of thinking allows for free-association and blue-sky thinking.

After that, we use convergent thinking to evaluate the ideas. This is to avoid what Arthur Cropley terms ‘pseudo-creativity’ or creativity for the sake of creativity. Convergent thinking looks at ideas and solutions generated during the divergent phase and massages them into concepts that are adaptable to reality while retaining their novelty.
By applying this approach to creative, and working with our clients to achieve a common goal of making a tangible difference, we were able to use our client’s product – chicken breasts – as a catalyst for women to check their own breasts for cancer more frequently and in the correct way.

With this ability to solve problems with good ideas and the fact that advertising is everywhere, let us use its well-established omnipresence for good. We can, and should, use our good ideas to do work that ‘does good’.

Source: Bizcommunity


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