Re-inventing advertising, one parish at a time

Cindy Gallop tells adland 'Blow yourselves up and start again'For those that missed Cindy Gallop performing live on stage at last month’s Changing Advertising Summit, GMG have now delivered a video of the Queen of DIY Porn delivering her key-note speech to the great and advertising good gathered at King’s Place. I’m a big fan. MakeLoveNotPorn threatens to turn the accepted norms of the global adult entertainment industry upside down; her ability to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk and ‘make shit happen in the real world…’ marks her out from the crowd. The woman is on a roll.

Her message to the ad industry that their traditional business model was bust; that the future was ‘bottom up and collaborative’ and that they were guilty, in essence, of having the wrong thinking in the wrong place at the wrong time, must have had one or two shifting uncomfortably in their seats.

For me, she’s bang on the money. As has been mentioned before.

On the day, the Twitterati decided that the takeaway line from her keynote was the one about advertising needing to re-invent itself as a genre – “We have to move from a focus on making good advertising to making advertising for good…”

It comes about 17 minutes in for those without 30 minutes to spare.

‘Advertising for good’, in her eyes, brings a broader societal benefit. It is no longer about flogging more cereal packs with a smart piece of creative imposed on a mute, multi-platform audience from the top down.

Rather it is about creating a fresh sense of shared value and welcomed brand engagement that inspires both a new-found sense of social responsibility and, above all, action.

That advertising for good makes good shit happen.

That thought rings a big, big bell in this neck of the woods.

Far, far away from the madding London crowd that still sees advertising as a ‘top down’ activity untroubled by Gallop’s ‘New World Order’ , is a small Norfolk community called Loddon.

Easily confused. London. Loddon.

But it is where we’re trying to make good shit happen via advertising for good.

It’s there that we won £50,000 worth of NESTA’s ‘DestinationLocal’ funding to build a rural, wifi-mobile portal play for that 3,000-strong community; one that is sustained and supported by local and national advertising.

The ‘back haul’ connection-wise will mushroom off the church tower via the enhanced broadband service that the Diocese of Norwich are currently rolling out from one church tower to the next.

The local ads will come from shifting the parish magazine advertisers online; the national advertisers will be those seeking a specifically Loddon audience and outlet for their national or regional brand.

Put all of the above together and the good shit that we seek via advertising is to not only bring effective mobile connectivity to one rural community, but to deliver a sufficient and sustainable revenue stream around that portal play to pay for one young person in that community to report on its affairs, on a part-time basis, via the local community blog. By teaming up with AFrame’s Cloud-based video tech, we have already built a potential cornerstone for village ‘TV’.

Advertising for good. Not good advertising.

There are two national brands in our little Loddon space for whom Ms Gallop’s thinking ought to have huge relevance. One, I suspect, should get it – with bells on.

The village supermarket is a Co-Op (East of England) outlet. If that institution can’t get how its own advertising can be a real force for good in that one, local community then no-one will.

The village bank is the really fascinating one, however.

Come on down Barclays Bank Plc (Loddon).

If there was one global brand in dire need of being seen to do something – frankly, anything – for good by way of their brand advertising, it may well be Barclays.

And, for me, they now have the chance to put Cindy Gallop’s vision into practice. It is hardly going to re-invent the Barclays brand overnight, but to one small, Norfolk community what good might a £250-a-month banner ad for Barclays Bank plc (Loddon) achieve?

Or, indeed, a small video promo that we can slip into a village ‘TV’ show reel?

Either way, it would be a perfect example of battered global brand co-acting via advertising with a bottom-up and collaborative community initiative to keep a ‘21st Century Village Correspondent’ in part-time employment and to, likewise, deliver 21st Century connectivity to one Norfolk village and ensure their engagement with the digital revolution isn’t left to hang by one of BT’s copper threads.

That, for me, is ‘advertising for good’. Creativity as action and outcome.

Deliver me both and, frankly, I don’t give a shit whether the actual ad is any good…

  • Stephen Harrison

    Am I the only person who finds this vaguely nauseating in its self-righteousness?

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