CK among the pigeons

Cat among the pigeons
Originally uploaded by Dan65.

I knew it was going to be a busy day when went to get my Daily Fix and saw CK’s featured post. My first thought was "how do I respond"? It was a passionate and strident article on the portrayal of women in the media and the effect it has on our body image. If you have not read it, I encourage you to do so!

Then I ventured over to CK’s blog and found yet ANOTHER article laying it on the line — this time about Darfur and the humanitarian crisis unfolding there. Oooh, I thought … CK’s on fire! Can my brain keep up?

I flipped back to The Fix … but there was plenty in the post that I needed to digest. I wanted to wait and see what thoughts came up during the day. So then I went back later and there were some GREAT comments — if you are reading the post, take some extra time to read the comments, because there are some excellent additional insights and personal anecdotes that help to illustrate exactly what CK is talking about.

One of the points that I really liked was Tim Jackson’s comments on the challenges in changing behaviours and opinions:

I’m one of the biggest dreamers you’ll ever encounter and even I don’t believe we can change the world that much… but I’m still gonna try.

But it made me think … if some of the best marketing and communications professionals around can’t effect some change in areas that we consider important, then who can? Some of the best advertising and creative work I have seen has been done for pro bono clients … and it seems to me that there is a DIRECT connection between passionate creative commitment to a cause and the quality of the work. The YouTube of this struck me like an axe.

Really, we need more of those axes. Great stuff, CK!


7 thoughts on “CK among the pigeons

  1. You spoil me :-). But I can’t really take credit. See, these are agendas that we need to advance. I don’t have a lot of money to advance them but I…we…have our voices. Let’s keep using our voices to enlighten one another, support each other–and push these positive agendas.
    Next Stop, Congress. After that, Australia!
    And while the posts are nifty the GEMS are in the comments. Truly. Everyone, as Gavin says, please take time to read through these thoughtful, advancing rounds of feedback. I’m so inspired by the community–gives me hope that there exist SO many good marketers among us.
    P.S.: Gavin, thanks for using your blog to promote so many OTHERS. I’m astonished at how much you do.

  2. Maybe we need to start putting our heads together and focusing some agendas. There are definitely causes that we could be getting behind and driving. Our voices are getting louder, and it’d be nice to find new ways to use that for good.

  3. I like Seth Godin’s perspective on marketing. He says, “You are responsible for what you sell.” If you do your job right, more gets sold, so be sure you can sleep at night knowing you’re selling cigarettes to nine-year-olds, you sick psycho.
    Okay, those weren’t his exact words, but the implication was surely there. 😉

  4. CK … you must be exhausted from your round of posts and comments — you have really generated a lot of discussion! I hope Paul looks after you in Texas and lets you get some rest (yeah right).
    Paul … I think that is the way forward. Maybe like some small action groups with some realistic goals/agendas and concrete next steps. Hmmm … sounds tasty.
    Cam … I agree we can’t promote/market something and then stand back from any responsibility. But I also think that we should also promote, at least in some small way, an element of critical thinking in our marketing communications. A smarter audience will make smarter choices.

  5. I agree… Critical thinking is sorely lacking… Marketers typically take advantage of this deficiency through all sorts of fallacies. Although I think our nation would be greatly improved through a general increase in our capacity for intellectual industry, besides stopping the use of such fallacies (which would make advertising, according to probably most marketers, boring), I don’t know what degree of responsibility marketers hold to increase our capacity for critical thinking.
    (1) 3 out of 4 dentists agree (which 3?)
    (2) We’re the best… (according to whom?)
    (3) We’re the most popular (bandwagon… why does that mean I should use you and not your competitor?)
    (4) Our truck/suv is tough because we have an absurd commercial about driving underwater… or getting spit out by the Loch Ness Monster
    (5) Using our product will make you cool
    With somewhere between 15 seconds and a minute to communicate a message over traditional TV commercials, I would say that advertisers generally want people to think less about their purchases and act on company-inspired emotion and impulses more. There is no way to really communicate the depth of thought and insight that makes one product superior to another. And in some cases, it’s about association anyway–it has nothing to do with superiority of a product.
    Is that right? Absolutely not! But consider the problem is industry-wide, and they have become so accustomed to be able to manipulate an audience that is captive because of limits on their choices, they’re having difficulty adapting to the new market where the competition is easier to get to than ever before.

  6. Cam … so true! I remember teaching a class at university and one of the students reminded me of the “world famous Ponds Institute”. She had seen the ads on TV and thought it was a university she could attend.
    We had a bit of work to do there!

  7. For two days straight, I listened to radio programs (which I normally don’t listen to) doing what they call “man on the street” interviews.
    The radio host would ask the unsuspecting “contestant” some easy questions… or at least questions that should be easy for an American to answer, such as, “Who is Vice President of the United States,” or, if they didn’t get that one, “Who is President of the United States,” to more global criteria such as, “Name a country in Africa,” and “If I just ran a race that is 26.2 miles, what kind of race did I run?”
    The results were downright scary, but they matched my own experience, so I don’t doubt their legitimacy. Our best short-term hope is that the sample is not representative.

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