Advertising as a powerful tool which calls for discussion.

Do we like advertising? The vast majority of people would rather answer negatively. However, no matter we love advertising or not, it is hard to deny that it is a significant part of our everyday lives (Rai, 2013). Many people are annoyed by ads. They assume that by showing commercials tycoons are trying to push their products and force consumers to buy the products they are not interested in. On the other hand other people might find advertising very helpful, and even inspirational.

However, commercial side of advertising is not the only one. Advertising can be used as a powerful tool to educate, motivate and inspire people all over the world. As ‘father of advertising’ Ogilvy said “advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest – it is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes”.

Well-created emotional ads can catch attention and stay in our memory for a long time (Reisberg and Hertel, 2004). This is definitely what we need nowadays. We have so many social issues which are calling for discussion. These problems must be noticed and heard. So why not use advertising for solving social issues? I think social advertising is a brilliant finding which show people what kind of challenges we have and might face in the future. Also, social ads call humanity for discussing and solving these challenges and as a result, it might help to prevent us and next generations from potential problems.

From my personal experience, since I am a big animal lover, I am always influenced by advertising campaigns of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). This is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961 aims to protect wildlife and environments, tackles climate change and promotes sustainable use of resources. There are two posters below from the previous campaign which called for ‘give a hand to wildlife‘. The concept of the campaign is very simple and yet very smart. Human hands using spatial painting techniques were transformed into animal heads. The message of the campaign was world’s wildlife is in human hands. Simple, touching and thought-provoking.

wwf_eagle_hand wwf_zebra_hand

Another example which I would like to show up is Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). This is a British environmental charity organisation protecting UK’s waves and beaches. There are  posters below from the campaigns ‘Break The Bag Habit’ and ‘Protect Our Waves’. The goal of and message of the campaign were calling us to stop leaving plastic bags, bottles and other rubbish on beaches of the country, and thing what a dreadful harm it causes to the environment. Just think about the ocean where no one can swim. Still want to drop a plastic bottle on the beach?


What is your attitude to social marketing? Do you think it is a milestone in marketing or it annoys you?