Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cannes Lions 55th advertising Festival

During my experience at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, I had the privilege of listening to, and learning from, some of the best producers of advertising in the world. As they characterized themselves by stories of redemption, accolades, and innovation it became increasingly clear that these companies were not solely dependent on cash, or cleverness, but passion. These are the great businesses of our time and they are alive. Each technique or creative strategy was implemented to live another day. As life is to an individual, I am convinced that success is to every business - it cannot be formulated.

The most riveting experience I had at the festival was listening to the speakers on activism. They strived to connect with all walks of life, and do so freely and with such care. I am guilty of imagining marketing as a self-righteous, profit driven, sin machine. So these activist messages intrigue me. They are so closely related to the Christian message I hold so dearly. I believe we are meant to breakdown the ugly, corrupt, jaded, and unbelievable moments of our lives to find ourselves, and these people were helping others find themselves. Christianity and advertising alike try to hide these dilemmas in their attitudes, and in ignorance. These activists, however, have become martyrs for causes that I believe the Bible inspires. Among the chaos of sinfulness and injustice of organization they create an escape, reveal truth, and offer love as a peace offering.

The truth is always harder to believe, but we can learn to care. The most successful companies care about their consumers, just as activists do, and their consumers knows that they care by deliberate acknowledgements and involvement. This is where the novelties of interactive media come from. These ideas are important because it is activism of human life and just as the message of activism targets passion, the truth will always transcend the criticism of mankind.

Their greatness is obvious, but their notoriety, wealth, and achievements did not inspire me. It was their passion, the vibrancy of their words that made me wonder how their activism was related to me. I am amazed at how something as complicated as an individual’s passion could be explained through metaphors of business.







Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cannes Lions 55th advertising Festival 1

Advertising Activism: New Secrets For Going Beyond Propaganda

Presenters - Lewis Blackwell, Markus N. Beeko, Sam Roddick, Ted Royer, Tom Savigar, Jonathan Torgovnik

Briefly described beliefs:

Peoples’ inherent laziness inhibits their inherent goodness.

We all decide the world we live in – it’s up to us, it’s about empowerment.

What does advertising mean to activism?

Activism is a declaration of human rights and ordinary people making change; advertising has the ability to spread awareness, convey urgency, and remind us what we believe in.


Trend Research

Consumer: If you are inspiring me to do something, show me what you are doing.

Inline- Blur of online and offline

Increased multi channel

Increased collaboration

Constant “.com”

Immersion- Engaging all parts of the consumer (No Logos)

Reciprocity- Giving back to future generations.

There is an increased difficulty in the publication of many activist movements. However, media outlets are more likely to support content if subject is link to a cause, content, and resources.






Have worked to create a program that gives school age children a cell phone; this cell phone is programmed to be an element of the learning process. With earned minutes for good grades and scheduling capabilities this cell phone is a revolutionary idea to get kids focus on the classroom.


UNICEF’s largest fundraiser ever! Restaurants gave customers the option of buying tap water for 1 dollar, all across the world, to benefit those who do not have access to clean drinking water.

Listening to the passion and vibrancy of their words, made me wonder how their activism was related to my faith, and how they could similarly stimulate change.

They strive to connect with all walks of life, and so do Christians. So how is it that activists are able to convey their messages so passionately and, although many are passionate, Christians often struggle? How can we show the truth and still be respectful of the often ugly, corrupt, and jaded moments of our lives? These are the things that advertising often tries to hide, and we hide in our attitudes, and because of their unappealing attributes are hardest to accept. We need to show the truth, which in good adverts are always conveyed. The great thing about activist media: it is what it is. They don't need to appeal to an audience; they just have to get their attention: the cause speaks for itself. Much like the selflessness of scripture it is difficult to support in activist media efforts.

There is a point of enlightenment, that activist and Christians both meet (of coarse not the same, but similar) Similar in the fact that their actions reach out in love - their whole live become "love centered" by their activism. This is the diligence, love, and passion I believe the Bible encourages.

So, what do we support and accept/ what is acceptance? Jesus says love above all. When you love it is not about conscience act of acceptance - it is what it is. When you resort to acceptance is when you have established in your mind that your idea are right and their actions are wrong. This is not love, it inhibits love. Then, how do we love in this capacity? Be a voice for them, despite their differences they deserve pure love, and we cannot give that to them, but we can introduce them to it. These causes are not distractions of faith they are signs of it because no matter what you will have God to bring you to the place of wholeness that others have not found.
This is the activism of human life and, just as an activist advert, the truth will always transcend the criticism of mankind.

Monday, May 12, 2008

After All Tomarrow is Another Day

(Watch title video link)

Advertisement: the action of making generally known; a calling to the attention of the public.

How does something so factually defined in a dictionary, become an integral part of our seemingly organic lives?
From as early as 4000 BCE ads have been influencing mankind: Ancient Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and South America were some of the earliest places to actively involve advertising in their daily lives. Some of the first advertisements were implemented in the persuasion of government. This presented a choice: a purpose for advertising. When people could identify with the Ad, a part of them was instantly defined. In our society, it is apparent that we are increasingly defined by the brands we support. We have become members of genres, symbols, prices, and fashions. We have been defined like a product because we have neglected to maintain definition. We are told to "network ourselves" and "sell ourselves": words that are used to encourage us to a path of success.

What is the cost to mankind?
My sister is 12, and she is in sixth grade, an average student. This week she was doing a project about Rome and Greece. She was copying down notes from her textbook and adding them to the brochure she was assigned to make, but it seemed that every five minutes she would ask me for the answers. When I sent her back to the book to find the answer she would give up. She continued to give up throughout the day. Overall, it took her about five hours to do this simple task because she did not take the time previously to familiarize herself with the material. As soon as we got in my car a Hip Hop song came on and she knew every line. I saw this as more than just interest in music over school work; I saw it was an issue with priorities. Schools as well as children are neglecting true education. It is estimated that most kids from ages 6-17 spend about 20% of their time on academics, 30% sleeping, about 10% of their time watching TV or being on the computer, and the other 40% being around peers and adults. Thanks to advertisers working 100% of the time to reach out to these children they spend about 70% of their time being marketed to. This creates an unfair, and intentional, advantage for marketers. It also creates a type of planned obsolescence that prohibits children from making the transition from consumers to innovators. In the city that I grew up, the number of teachers and schools are dropping because of insufficient funding. Our schools do not have the option of competing with our advertisers because of this deficit in public schooling. However, if anything deserves the attention of the pubic it is this. It is as if we a battling for our youths education. When they are defined by genres, symbols, prices, and fashions 70% of the time, they lose insight to the past and foresight that we rely on for the future, and this is the dangerous affect this human branding has on society.

Outside the box:
There is a comedy "Idiocracy" that pokes fun at this idea, but there is an undertone that is very possible. Our "average American" could easily be one of the most intelligent people in the world in 500 years. It is my belief that marketing is dumbing-down our personal intelligence. By requiring nothing from us, other than support. Marketers want to make a brand experience, but what if we recognized experiences as something that is owned intrinsically and were able to identify marketing as a process. In this case I don't feel that the lines of importance would be blurred between education and consumption, or any other human crisis.

http://wiki.tertiary.govt.nz/tertiary/wikifarm/TESMon/uploads/MonitoringReport2004/Partrate04.gif (This graph show a slowed increase of both academic involvement as well as public providers)

How can I help?
I feel passionately about marketing in the sense that I would like to help in redirecting where I feel marketing is guiding society. By small strides and support of meaningful integration of marketing we have the opportunity to make all ads meaningful. People can be defined intrinsically and intelligently, and we can value the experiences that have made us rather than the brands that make define us.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Classes Classes and Champeign Glasses

As most Alfred University Students say cheers to summer, I am rolling out the red carpet overseas for the Cannes International Advertising Festival. Alfred University offered me this amazing opportunity in this spring, and I have been looking forward to it ever since.

We have had classes to familiarize ourselves with our itinerary, and the way that the marketing world is evolving; but I'm looking forward to going overseas for my very first time! I took French for five years, and though I've lost my fluency in it, I like the idea of being a part of that culture. I just know there is so much to learn and I'm walking in with wide eyes.

Recently, we learned about how websites and online resources are becoming the one-stop-shop of social networking: You need to have infinite outlets. However, this seems like a hassle. I feel frustrated when I see that Facebook has a chat function that it didn't have before. There's no arguing that these hybrid type social networks are the most successful, but it's important to stay on board because, like with Facebook, if your timing is off you could just annoy people.

After some further reflection, I couldn't help but relate it to the idea of a grocery store. People used to go to the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker. But now it's the grocery store and everything is in one place. The more centralized and user friendly our online resources are the more successful they should be right?

Well, I can't help but think of my peers and those younger than me who really drive the popularization of the major social networks. Looking back at high school and junior high I know that everyone wanted to have their "thing". Whether it be a sport, club, or click, people just wanted to feel elite. Thus, builders of these websites have to watch out for the emergence of these wonderful subcultures and really nurture the to grow.

Of coarse this is all old news, but it is just me slowly working out my understanding of social networks, blogs, and online influence.