TED Conversations

Chairman, Crispin Porter + Bogusky


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Do the creators of advertising have any obligation other than to drive results for clients?

Clearly, a lot of people believe that intelligent, engaging advertising is also the most effective. But it's equally clear that a lot of people don't. Just watch TV.

Most broadcast advertising is still intrusive -- the audience doesn't seek it, it seeks them. Beyond the obvious responsibility to be effective for the client, do people who make ads have any responsibility to enlighten, inform or entertain the audience?

TED Initiatives – Ads Worth Spreading


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  • Jun 2 2011: I little more awareness about the sub-conscious impact of visual used in some adds. e.g cosmetics for various skin diseases should be less into providing graphic illustrations with mug-shots. I think auto suggestion can be both auditory as well as visual and it seems like advertisers are either insensitive or unaware of these issues and should take care.

    Another point would be an emphasis on understanding the strategic goals of the organization and implementing strategic marketing plans which take into consideration the evolving nature of the business and the challenges that could be faced in the future. e.g Oil and Gas companies should have a strategic timeline for diversifying into alternative industries and advertising companies should understand and appreciate their role as facilitators in the quest for better more environmentally sustainable alternatives. (tobacco industry would also benefit from such integrated strategic marketing systems that will help in weaning them away and assist them in branching out into new development initiatives.

    Advertisers face another challenge with respect to the sophisticated viewer who perceives their pitch with more awareness of techniques and can actually understand where the presentation is aimed and it's effectiveness. People are less likely to be susceptible to a pitch that is in sharp contrast to the actual information on the ground. e.g an ad for an Oil & Gas company provides it's viewers with it's emphasis on corporate social responsibilities which the news networks are exposing catastrophic environmental damage to the eco-system. Flexibility is essential in today's fast track news dissemination.

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