It took just one session with Bittu Sahgal, editor of Sanctuary Asia, to remind me (not that I had forgotten it completely) of the reason why I joined Advertising in the first place. I wanted to change the world – change perceptions and I felt Advertising was the most powerful tool I could ever have to do so. Naive is a term I have oft encountered for my views and it was heartening to note that I wasn’t the only one.
And there is hope.
As Mr. Sahgal took us through ‘climate weirding’ ala climate change, and how the damage caused during the Mumbai floods, the tsunami, and the rapidly disappearing wildlife was the immediate effect of bad planning on our part and not merely the wrath of nature, he put forward a simple plea to the advertising fraternity. Save the biggest and the most beautiful brand – brand earth. The startling facts were enough to shake off the apathy, arrogance, or a bit of both that each one of us living on the planet seem to treat Nature with. What was rather unsettling was the fact that it’s not she who needs us for protection but we who need to save her for pure selfish reasons: our need to survive.
To do this we could take a tip or two from what Robin Wight had to say. Earth has enough and more to go about ‘peacocking’ to get noticed. Of course, in the beginning we will have to make that extra effort to sell brand earth. After all, the brain is basically lazy – the reason why it takes the easy way out and picks brands in the first place. Why it looks for readymade symbols of trust, quality...
Well, if we want to work on Mr. Sahgal’s brief we will have to begin by making people aware of a brand called earth.