This morning, I was Googling around with no real aim in mind because FALL BREAK! – When I came across a certain news headline. The headline read, “Advertising is a poison that demeans even love – and we’re hooked on it.”
“Harsh,” I thought. But then I remembered that I was initially very skeptical about getting into advertising. You know, there’s that whole idea that the big “ad giants” are milking the world for all its worth; then there’s the idea that the industry is completely obsessed with money, and so on.
Obviously, I made the decision to attend portfolio school – at the of the end of the day, the only career path that’s 100% wholesome involves living in a nunnery – but as I’ve been learning, it turns out that advertising isn’t all about, well, deception and dollar signs. Sometimes, advertising can serve a purpose bigger than selling a good or service. Sometimes, it can… get presidents elected.
Yeah, you read that correctly. In 2008, the award-winning agency Droga5 created “The Great Schlep” – a campaign to help Barack Obama win the presidential election. The agency targeted the state of Florida, specifically, its older Jewish population. They filmed a video starring Sarah Silverman that featured young Jews visiting their grandparents, explaining to them things like- “just because Obama’s middle name is Hussein doesn’t mean he’s a Muslim.” Debunking such myths must have been exactly what the older Jewish population needed, because in the end, the video went viral, the Great Schlep Facebook group had 25,000 members, and, most importantly, Obama received the highest percentage of Florida’s Jewish vote in 30 years. Pretty impressive.
So there’s that. Advertising DOES have the power to do “good.” To not just make consumers reach for their wallets, but to provide powerful storytelling that has the potential to REALLY change the game up.
(Thanks to Teressa Iezzi’s “The Idea Writers” for making me aware of the whole Obama-and-the-state-of-Florida thing!)
Written by: Amanda Burger
Watch the video that went viral here: http://droga5.com/work/great-schlep/