Tuesday, July 9th 2019

Jul 09, 2019

Advertising Can Make the World Better.

Jessica Darke, Producer

Advertising has the ability to effect mass change and every now and again, this change markedly improves our society.

The following three examples show that a powerful advertising campaign can leave a lasting effect that permeates through our culture for decades.

Smoking
Cigarette smoking is at an all-time low much in part to the national Truth campaign that launched in 2000 and included such memorable content as Body Bags, Singing Cowboy, and 1 and 3 that clearly communicate that cigarette smoking kills 1 and 3 of its users.

Researchers have found that the campaign not only reduced teen smoking, and consequently adult smoking, it also dramatically reduced the country's medical costs by $1.9 and $5.4 billion between 2000 and 2002 (American Journal of Public Health).

Only 14% of adults smoke cigarettes today (CDC data 2017), compared to over 25% when the campaign started in 1998 (CDC data 1998).

Car Safety
In the 1970s and 80s, cars were marketed as fun or fast, notable design features were aesthetic or in the name of performance. That changed in the 1990s when advertisers focused on safety messages. Car companies wanted to out-safety their competitors with claims that their car was the safest on the road. This, in turn, made all cars much safer.

Littering
The rate of garbage thrown onto streets, city areas, and public spaces has dramatically declined since the 1950s thanks to the success of Keep America Beautiful advertising campaigns, Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute, The Crying Native American, and it's pervasive, Don't be a litterbug, tag line. Many local and community organization also promoted proper waste removal.

The littering rate has declined by 61% in the United States even as the population has swelled.

It is estimated that improving vehicle safety has saved 3.5 million lives. This is in part due to the fact that safer cars are selling points and features of effective advertising.

While it's not every day we get to make a lasting positive effect on the world. It is every day we can try to do just that.

Arcana Academy is an Advertising Agency based in Los Angeles, California.

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