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Laura Desmond

TEDCRED 50+

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Can advertising be both a force for commerce AND a force for good?

People love to say they hate advertising – and in many ways, I think we've earned our bad reputation (which might sound strange coming from the CEO of the largest media agency in the world). Personally, I believe that advertising has a responsibility to be more informative, more relevant, and more reliable in helping people navigate the landscape of choices in their lives. At the same time, we have to honor our commitment and responsibility to our client partners to grow their businesses and build their brands. In your view, what advertisers are doing the best job of serving this dual role in a genuine way? What are some examples you've seen, both past and present, that demonstrate being a force for good as well as a force for business? What more can be done in this space?

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    Jan 18 2012: advertising is not stupid or insulting at peoples intelligence at all. we can learn important things by ads. people love stories, we define our life, our relationships, our personality by stories experienced and changed sometimes in our memory. stories are way more important than arguments or discussions. people are motivated by emotions and construct their selve and the world around them, make sense of life with stories.
    So if we have an important issue, if we want to change the world, we should talk more in stories to motivate people, using the principles that work on people and that marketing agencies working for the corporate world discovered.
    concerning corporations: i think its no bad thing that they want to position them positively by associating them with green technology, charity etc. in our social era with social networks everywhere we can create pressure on companies by detecting nuisances and demand green, fair products. if they advertise with these qualities, we can make a background check if its really true what their aiming by using social networks. we can also promote green companies by ourselve, eg. user-made ads for green, fair companies and by that creating a pressure on them and their competitors to reach these expectations. the goal would be to create this pressure by user made ads and campaigns, and create a global social network so that a company not being green and fair is not acceptable anymore on the market.
    creating stories about making the world better instead of stories how to be more cool and sexy. changing the world is sexy.

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