David Droga On The Positive Impact Of Advertising

The founder of Droga5 speaks with CNN Icon about the positive influence of advertising, and its evolution at the intersection of art and commerce.

Many of us involved in advertising sometimes find ourselves defending our industry and work. While there are certainly varied examples of how creative, thought-provoking and even motivational and informative advertising can be when done right, there will always be some of how deceptive, ineffective and laughable it can be when steered wrong. That said, David Droga has more often than not created examples of positive advertising that has impact.

In a recent interview and discussion with CNN Icon, Droga discussed his views on the evolution of advertising. To this end, Droga described advertising as living at the intersection of art and commerce, cited examples of socially responsible advertising and brand communications, and asserted that advertising (and brand work) that is in sync with what consumers want can indeed be impactful beyond just selling product or improving brand perception – but also contributing to social good.

We pulled some key points from Droga’s interview;

  • ‘Perhaps one of the greatest and biggest changes in the advertising industry has been the way brands sell themselves and the mediums in which they do that. It’s as much about the communication, but also now it is the body language of a brand…how it actually operates and exists in the real world’
  • Example of a brand that understands its own ‘body language’, or role in culture, is Puma, whom took the proactive measure to diminish its environmental impact with the Clever Little Bag - a reinvented, less wasteful shoe box
  • Advertising is about more than just bombarding consumers with ‘buy’ messages – it can contribute to and lead culture, even help solve social issues
  • ‘Advertising now takes on a far greater role of social responsibility and contributing to society. It seems like not a lot of the world’s issues can be solved by big government. But they can be solved by brands, and brands putting their best food forward need advertising’
  • Example of a brand that responsibly educated its audience of the myth of ‘beauty’ in the fashion and beauty is industry is of course Dove’s  ‘Evolution‘ within the ‘Campaign for Real Beauty
  • Examples of the socially-conscious brands or projects that Droga5 works with include Method, Puma, and UNICEF’s ‘Tap Project’
  • Advertising can instigate brand stories; brands can become curators by initiating a brand story with engaging content,  they may offer content to consumers, and allow them to take a hold of it, build from it and add to it

Droga’s ultimate challenge for what an ad campaign can and should do? Convince, inspire and motivate. And as these examples suggest, good advertising can inspire and motivate socially-beneficial behaviors – particularly when the brand initiating that communication has first identified what role it can most naturally play (its ‘body language’) to take action towards contributing to the cause themselves. The end action desired of advertising begins with responsibility for the brand’s own role.

[via CNN Icon]

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