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Peace and Politics http://www.peaceandpolitics.com Mon, 29 Feb 2016 02:06:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Randall Rothenberg on Advertising and Peace Work http://www.peaceandpolitics.com/2015/05/29/randall-rothenberg-advertising-promotion-peace/ Fri, 29 May 2015 21:25:01 +0000 http://www.peaceandpolitics.com/?p=97 Interview by Larissa Simpson Randall Rothenberg is the President and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the trade association for interactive marketing in the United States.  Previously, he was the technology and politics editor, advertising columnist and media and marketing reporter for the New York Times. LS.  What is peace? RR.  Peace is creating an […]

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Interview by Larissa Simpson

Randall Rothenberg is the President and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the trade association for interactive marketing in the United States.  Previously, he was the technology and politics editor, advertising columnist and media and marketing reporter for the New York Times.

LS.  What is peace?

RR.  Peace is creating an environment  where people can feel and be nurtured. And in turn learn to nurture others.

That can be a family environment yet it can also be a professional environment, a work environment.

LS.  How can advertising promote peace work?

RR.  At least two ways.

One is directly because advertising can be very effective.  Not just in commercial causes. Also social causes.  Historically, we know that.

The power of things like War is Not Healthy For Children and Other Living Things.

 

War Is Not Healthy For Children and Other Living Things

 

Or the international Peace Sign.  Things like that.  It’s undeniable.

Perfect example of that kind of action that advertising people and designers and others can take.

Then there’s also indirectly. Yet importantly.  Advertising agencies and advertising people are mediators between the commercial sector, their clients, and the rest of the culture.  So they have an opportunity to influence their clients on behalf of the larger culture.

There’s many, many, many examples of that.

One is Warby Parker donating eyeglasses to impoverished countries based on a really novel internet based business system and a kind of a marketing idea.
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There’s a great piece of research that the international Association of Advertisers unveiled this year.  Really large scale survey on the evolution of marketing organizations and marketing capabilities and thousands of marketing surveys.  To try to distinguish what’s the difference between a really successful marketing organization and successful companies, and those that are average or less successful.
And the number one differentiator they came up with was purpose.
It is not just the purpose of a successful selling or revenue generating company, but purpose, a local, social or geographical, environmental context.
And that that really acts as a catalyst for people inside the organization to go the extra mile.  Because they realize they’re working toward something that is larger than themselves, even larger than the organization.
So, clearly a role for advertising and driving that kind of positive social change.  And again, you’re in a job, you’re serving the client. But you can push. You can push.   When I think back to the 60s, the 1960s is a period known as the Creative Revolution in advertising.  Have you heard of that?
A fascinating period, when advertising went to being very creative and idea driven.  It’s also when advertising became interracial. Black people started showing up in ads with white people.

 

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RR.  When I was a kid, my mother was very involved in the anti war movement, the anti Vietnam war movement.

I was very idealistic about that back then.  Then, I kind of grew out of that idealism.  When I went to college, which is mid to late 70s, that was the beginning-middle of the anti apartheid movement.

I became more of a realist.  Quote unquote.  Now, I’ve kind of come full-circle.

LS.  What changed your perception?

RR. I think it’s the realization looking back that positive change happened, and continues to happen.

That the collective will in action of passionate people can make things happen.

LS.  How does the internet play into it?

RR.  First of all, it’s a global connector. Knowledge is transferred from computer to computer.  This allows communities to self organize around ideas. So that they can find common cause with others.
It allows the ecretion of ideas upon ideas in such a way that it can create powerful frameworks.
There are countless small examples of this everywhere we turn.  From Barry Scheck’s Innocence Project, and getting information collected from across borders that has freed innocent people from Death Row.
I don’t think we can begin to count how it’s helped.
There’re bad people and bad ideas too.  That gets down to the idea of, do you think the world is fundamentally good or evil?

I believe it’s fundamentally good, so the internet allows more good things to happen than bad things.

 

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