Tuesday, September 21, 2010

As I walked past my doorman this morning--

He was drinking from a paper cup filled with coffee. Of course the thickness of the cup was such that it was too hot to hold, so the cup had a sleeve over it. That sleeve read: "Cup for a Cause."

That nearly sent me over the edge.

I didn't hang around to find out what the cause the cup was for. "Save the Crab Grass." "People for the Ethical Treatment of Mold." It doesn't matter to me.

What matters to me is that this cup seemed endemic.

Everyday there are dozens of little thumbs up icons or blocks of blue type on Facebook. "1,000,000 strong for clean water." Or "Like" if you're in favor of heterosexual marriage. (Which I am not.)

And mindless grubs see these things and click on these things and gab about these things as if they are doing something.

Yes, you are doing something. Nothing.

Are these things what are meant by having a conversation about a brand? These things have value? These things have greater strength than messaging?

These artifacts are toys. They allow you to play pretend. As in pretend you're doing something, making a difference. Pretend you care about something beyond the next sale or the next football game.

In life as in advertising, there's no substitute for actually working. Doing something. Putting your ass out there.

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