#Thought Leadership

The Responsibility of What We Do

Some years ago, I was asked the following question: "If you do not agree with capitalism, consumerism, inequality, exclusion, and many other problems that our society is going through, why are you studying advertising?" At that time I did not know what to answer, but I realized that us advertisers, communicators and entrepreneurs, we have a great responsibility on how we educate, create culture, stereotypes, beliefs and many things that can be constructive or destructive for society. In that context, I believe that our responsibility is to be the change and social development that we want to see in the world.

To better explain myself, it is important to briefly comment on Kevin Roberts's book, "Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands." Roberts proposes that all human beings are motivated by emotions, and he believes that brands seeking to establish deep bonds with their consumers should focus on their emotional selves, connecting with what they care. This sounds obvious, of course, but the reality is that not all brands today understand the importance of developing relevant messages for their consumers. There are examples, which we will see at the end of this article, that shows how advertisers and some brands are indeed performing the most important task of all: to understand very well the realities of their consumers and how they want to be communicated to them.

According to the global study of Meaningful Brands, 2015, consumers take into account three key points when choosing what to buy: 1) the functional benefit that brings them: 2) personal benefit and how it helps improve the quality of their lives (Improvement, happiness, tranquility, success, etc.); and 3) the role it plays in a society and whether it has a positive or negative impact.

Let’s focus on the third point for no, consider the responsibility that we, as communicators, have. Personally, I think it's important to talk about inclusive advertising, since we are human beings aware of what surrounds us, including our similarities and differences. This is a reality far removed from the stereotypes and idealized roles that have been created in advertising and which we have seen in communication for many years; stereotypes, which have contributed to trigger social problems such as discrimination, inequality, and low self-esteem, among others.

According to the above, I believe that we must continue to build advertising communication, taking into account its impact on society and the need to generate credibility and actions for change and evolution. As I promised, here are some different and inclusive advertising messages, which contribute to create a more just, kind and nonjudgmental society. It is not about doing for the sake of doing, but finding a reality that is consistent with the task of the brand and objective.