Summary. Traditional advertising places a product or service at the center of attention. However, a new approach to advertising has become more common where the primary message of the advertisement is about values and virtues that inspire and motivate people toward a hopeful future. This kind of media is a fusion of advertising and social activism.
This hybrid approach to advertising has been hugely successful. Formats can take different forms such as a music video or telling an inspirational story. These tend to be organically promoted by people telling people through social networks. If you are a professional in advertising or marketing, do all you can to help promote this kind of advertising. It’s better for your brand and it’s better for the world and allows for two messages to be presented simultaneously.
Advertising as Comedy. Another effective approach for advertising is to make advertisements funny. Glacéau produced a series of funny advertisements for their Vitamin Water product. The ads feature Steve Nash.
Advertising as Entertainment. Advertisers are competing to produce higher quality ads that will attract people’s interest. In 2010, Apple announced their iAd campaign to offer advertising that is fun, interesting, and engaging. This is also an opportunity to showcase and promote companies and products that are forward thinking. For example, the Nissan Leaf all electric vehicle is one of the products promoted on the iAd platform from Apple.
Advertising as Inspiration. The photo shown here is from the Wavin’ Flag Coca-Cola Celebration Mix music video by K’naan that became hugely popular during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Positive and uplifting advertising is very important in light of the negativity that some advertising promotes.
Advertising as Philanthropy. In 2010, Pepsi launched their Refresh Everything campaign using an inspirational music video featuring the song One Tribe by Will.i.am. The Refresh Everything campaign was established to offer grants to small charities that might not otherwise receive funding. This is an example of how an advertising campaign can be merged with philanthropy.
Inspirational and Humorous Advertising. Below are some examples of advertisements that offer inspiration or humor.
- AT&T Painted Hands Advertising Global World Coverage in Different Countries
- Coca-Cola – Give A Little Love Video (inspiration)
- Coca-Cola – Wavin’ Flag by K’naan and the Coca-Cola Celebration Mix Music Video for Word Cup 2010 FIFA Event (inspiration)
- E*Trade – Funny Baby Video Commercial Campaign (humor)
- Glacéau – Vitamin Water Hosts Website With Facebook and Launches Steve Nash Funny YouTube Video Campaign (humor)
- Microsoft Windows – Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld (humor)
- Pantene – Deaf Violinist (inspiration)
- Pepsi – Inspirational Music Video One Tribe Featuring Will.i.am (inspiration)
- Nike – Steve Nash as the 60 Million Dollar Man (humor)
- Nike – Steve Nash Inspirational Video About Athletics Synergy and the Importance of Practice (inspiration)
- Sony Ericsson Funny Product Testing Institute Video Xperia X10 Smart Phone Experiment Videos With Surfers, Rockers, Toddlers, Models, and Body Building Italian Guys (humor)
- Vodafone India (inspiration)
TED Ads Worth Spreading. Recently TED has begun to bring more attention to advertising with the characteristics described above through their AWS (Ads Worth Spreading) campaign.