Activism and Advertising

Activism | Inspiring Advertising


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 and Art

Sometimes an ad campaign can be focused on an artistic work at its core. An example would be the AT&T Painted Hands Advertising Global World Coverage in Different Countries.

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

Visit our Inspiring Advertising page to learn more about this category of ads.

Advertising as Philanthropy

In 2010, Pepsi launched their Refresh Everything campaign using an inspirational music video featuring the song One Tribe by 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.

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.

Resources for Further Reading

Below are articles and resources for further reading.