Gordon Gekko may have been a fictional character and the antagonist of the 1987 film ‘ Wall Street‘ but I can tell you he’s always been very real in the shape of politicians, business leaders and executives from all parts of the world.
They’ve hung around our profession for many years and they are characterised by a common and most unattractive common denominator. To me it’s not so much about money and greed but a very specific lack of human emotion – something many advertising agents are accused of lacking. Truth is, advertising and marketing personnel understand more about humanity than possibly most any other profession. They know because they’re paid to know, to understand human emotions and its power.
Show me a community at its very best and I’ll show you a tragedy, a disaster or an emergency. Show me a community at its worst and I’ll show you a self driven prime mover powered by dollar bills. As humans we are at our best when we care, when we take care of each other, when we sacrifice for others Lately I have seen and applauded loudly the return of the human advert. A return marked by sincerity and kindness and yes there is always something to be sold but nonetheless the vehicle used to sell it is worthy of the true spirit of people.
Sceptics and critics will say that this is a weakness, they will claim it to be pathetic, feeble and wretched, an excuse for opting out of a tough new world. Advocates of the tough, stern and emotionless business community will state their is no place for such gentle an approach – and yet it is emotion that creates our moments, it is emotion which breaks us and makes us. It is a driving force which business simply refuses to accept because in truth most males especially, feel it unnecessary as it intimidates the facade which sustains their dreary emotionless behaviour. It is the gentle warmth that melts the bronze imposter. I feel strongly because I have experienced the tough, unmoving executives who, once defeated melt like layered chocolate and plead for care and the stronghold of human affection.
Funerals bring us all back to earth with a bang, births demonstrate what true joy is and if you want to experience the power of your emotions spend a moment watching your son or daughter achieve a life long goal. Such is life!
But what has this to do with advertising and marketing? Well it just so happens that two weeks ago I found a new pride in my profession. I witnessed what I believe is the advertisement message of the decade. A message so beautifully shaped that it took my breath away. A message that worked on me, sold me, convinced, convicted and actioned me. It has no words, it begins without explanation and ends in complete comprehension. It is moving, beautiful and it has no hard sell, no ‘buy one now and get one free’, no discount, no free offer, no competitions and just one wonderful benefit. I challenge you to see it. I challenge you to not to be moved by it but most of all I challenge you to ask yourself, “Did it deliver the message?”
If it did, and I know it will, my point is made and there in lies my hope that the rest of the Gordon Gekkos may see the light.. Watch it now.