To paraphrase Socrates… In advertising, the only good is creativity and the only evil is banality.
That is the war marketers and advertisers, alike, face everyday. How do we communicate our message in new and original ways? How do we avoid being trite and uninteresting?
While others may feel that advertising is the central cause of the commercialization and materialism of our modern world, I do believe that finding creative ways to communicate a message makes our lives richer and more fulfilling. And that is at the heart of advertising’s true purpose.
Yes, true, advertising is about convincing people to buy a product. However, it’s also true that people rarely change their preconceived notions about anything. As John Kenneth Galbraigh said, “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”
In truth, people cannot truly be directly persuaded to do anything. So they actually cannot be so easily duped, as some would have us believe. If only it were that easy. However, they can be shown a choice in a way they’re most likely to appeal to, based on their set ideals. That’s creativity.
Evil comes from dullness, shallowness. It spawns irrelevance and frivolity. When people focus on things that don’t truly matter, no good can come from it. It is when we strive to resonate with others, when we truly reach someone, it is only then that we are doing good in advertising.