What Gandhi can teach us about advertising

Most people don’t know this, but Gandhi wasn’t just some sappy peaceful dude who’d sit around smiling. He was a sharp lawyer who had a mind for spreading a message. He was non-violent, but not passive. He devastated an empire by taking residence in people’s minds. He had his message spread by causing civil disobedience that got talked about in the international press and word of mouth. That’s the power of having a story that can be spread and believed in.

In less noble ways perhaps, we do the same things for brands. We find what’s right about our product and cause some civil disobedience (guerilla marketing, breakthrough thinking, press-worthy work), for the betterment of our client’s brands. Something that gets people talking, the news writing, the schoolyard buzzing. In other words, if our ads are well-behaved and don’t spark conversation, they’re basically useless and won’t devastate our competitors. We’ve got to be rebels. We’re the black sheep of the business world and the black sheep of the art world, but at least we’re not just ordinary sheep. Kind of a cool way to think about what we do for a living, no?

14 comments:

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Balance is the key. Balance is the key to many things. Do we understand balance? The word 'balance' has seven letters. Seven is difficult to balance, but not impossible if we are able to divide. There are, of course, the pros and cons of division.

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