What do we create? Those of us who are in the creative business.
Do we simply create a means for a company to sell more? Or do we create a thought that resonates with people long after they have heard it?
Do we interrupt people’s lives with messages they don’t want to hear? Or do we share with them something powerful and beautiful they keep wanting to come back to?
During my interactions with my MBA classmates who came from different streams of business, I was often singled out for being ‘the advertising guy’. By extension the guy who everybody thinks is evil and pollutes their world with meaningless, needless messages that they find as interruptions. Worse off, I represented a cost centre and my contributions were never seen on the balance sheet or income statement. But that’s a question I’ve already answered.
The irony that I was questioned by my classmates from the big banks that led to the global financial crisis, did not escape me. Neither did the irony that the videos they’d most share on their social media were the work of my accomplices from advertising across the world. This irony, did escape them.
So, to my accomplices, I ask again: What do we create?
I found Dave Kuhl’s post on AdAge particularly interesting to remind us why we are here. But let me take out my favourite part of what he calls “The Bernbachian Oath”:
“.. in addition to selling, we believe we also make a taste contribution. People are exposed more to advertising than to any other form of art of writing. And by doing good art and copy we can upgrade the level of public taste.”
I cannot add to the words of Bernbach, and I shall not try to do so. But when I see powerful advertising, and when I see those people who question us also share our work in their lives, I am convinced that we create something beautiful. And damn, I’m proud to be a part of creating something that’s beautiful!
So let’s realise that we have an obligation to the world. It is our canvas. Let’s fill it with something beautiful. Or entertaining. Or at least informative.
Or not at all.
On that note, here’s AKQA with this beautiful piece that urged me to write this post: