Am I evil just because I'm an ad guy? I don't think so. But, much of the world does. I can't tell you how many times I've been someplace and the evils of advertising come up. I've been a youth counselor at my church and taken my youth group to a big rally where a video presentation on a giant screen talks about how advertising pressures you to be this kind of person or look like this or do that – DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THEIR EVIL MANIPULATIONS! I've been at group weight loss sessions (yes, I'm a fat ad guy) where they start talking about how evil advertising portrays the ideal body or makes us eat unhealthy food. Even some of our own (Dove's beauty campaign comes to mind) have turned on us, using advertising to decry the evils of advertising
Inevitably, when these outbursts of anti-advertising occur, the heads of those who know me swivel in my direction. I just give them a grin and move about my day. I'm sure there are evil plumbers and evil short order cooks out there too. They just don't get the publicity evil ad guys do. A few bad apples quietly spoil the bunch. A few bad apples with a camera loudly spoil an industry. Or something like that.
Truth is, most of us believe in our clients and try and put a positive spin on humanity in general. And we usually jump at the chance to use our powers of persuasion for good. It's rare that a good cause can't find some ad folks willing to promote their cause pro bono. We've done it over and over. Many of our corporate officers have been chairs of multiple charities. We've done scores of ads for charity, including this one for Forgotten Harvest.
Most recently, our Detroit office was involved in creating the theme and all the materials for the Capuchin Soup Kitchen's big annual fund raiser. SOCK (Support Our Capuchin Kitchen). The event was a big success, connecting emotionally with those in attendance and helping convince them to give a lot more than they did last year, even in this down economy in Detroit. You can read the full story here and see some samples of what we created for them.
Here's just one of the warm comments we got from SOCK committee member, Cathy Schmitt, "The Yaffe Group exceeded expectations. Never have all the parts of this event looked better. The theme was inspiring, and I felt as though the guests connected intellectually and emotionally with all of the services provided through the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. The video The Yaffe Group prepared truly captured the work of this extraordinary mission. The visible spirit of giving and receiving brought tears to my eyes."
Beats the heck outta being call an evil SOB. What have you done to use your powers for good?