Advertising has a corrupt name among the people, because it’s allied with marketing us stuff that we don’t really require: Luxurious Cars, Expensive Gold Jewellery. We may appreciate the creativity, intellect and humour that often originate in adverts but we do have difficulties with what goods are being sold.
Visualize a diverse method of using advertising, one that would use the aesthetic abilities of advertising but direct these to actually outstanding and honourable project that of pushing us to be the finest of ourselves. Imagine an ethical advertising campaign that sought to endorse qualities of character applicable and relevant to an individual’s life, virtues like kind-heartedness, tolerance, humbleness, generosity, bravery and wit.
Advertisers involved on an ethical mission would know that their applied abilities would find their final resolution in calling forth suitable ethical responses from people. Influencing against this mission are all ways of visual clichés. The real trouble with the concepts which trigger virtues like love or concern is not that they seem shocking or strange, but rather that they seem far too clear, their very sensibleness and universality strip them of their supremacy. With bad adverts the best virtues, presented without talent or imagination, generate only indifference and boredom. The task for advertisers is therefore to find new ways of prizing open our eyes to tiresomely familiar yet critical ideas.
We are never far away from a commercial communication influencing people to buy this or that. We should try to shape a more plural system of advertising, where the traditional commercial communications paid for by firms were well-adjusted by ones endorsing ingredients of the worthy life as defined by a wide-scale poll of citizens.
We simply will not care for very long about moral actions when all were given to convince us of their value is an occasional reminder. While, in the city beyond, the unmatched talents of the globe’s advertising agencies do their phantasmagorical transformation and set our every sensual fibre alight in the name of a new kind lemon-scented floor polish or savoury snack. If we tend to think so often about cleaning or cracked black pepper crisps, but comparatively little about endurance or justice, the fault is not merely our own. It is also that these two cardinal virtues are not generally in a position to become clients of a top agency.