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The Best Intentions Deserve The Best Creativity

Steve Jobs once asked John Sculley, then the CEO of Pepsi,

“Would you rather spend your life selling sugar water, or do you want to change the world?”

Old Advertising has answered with a resounding,

“I’ll have the sugar water!”

Great talent will line up to sell sugar water. Award show judges will reward them for it. Industry press will laud them for it.

The best intentions deserve the best creativity.

But, that’s not the way things work, in this system or any system we know.

In this system, if Pepsi has the most money, Pepsi can get a great effort from any number of great agencies.

Sugar water puts their kids through college and pays for their beach houses.

The best intentions will only get the best creativity if enough of us choose to make that so.

If you choose helping people change their lives over manipulating them.

A whole economy is being built on helping people change the behaviors they want to change in the way they want to change them.

But the old advertising industry is only seeing a small part of that business, because they are focused on where the big money still is.

And, because they’re focused on the easy.

It’s easy to be lighthearted and engaging about bubbly sugar water.

It’s harder to bring that same touch to things that matter.