Thought Leaders… or Followers?!
Apparently, the jury is out. At least, in Trinidad. But not for the first time or, sadly, the last.
While international ad agencies and brands have been inspired to take on difficult but increasingly admirable (and profitable) positions for movements like Nike’s support of NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the US anthem, Ben & Jerry’s BLM campaign, Ikea’s ThisAbles and Hey Girls UK Period Poverty campaign, T&T hasn’t really stood for much of anything, other than likes.
When one international brand launched a local effort to celebrate the unity and beauty of T&T, as advertising and marketing professionals, we scorned it – although the general public lapped it up. Another, more recently, chose to address domestic violence. And, again, we laughed, pointed fingers and talked about the impossibility of a thing only made possible with big billboards, tv and radio budgets and a strong social media presence as evidence. Did it miss the mark, the way we thought it would? No clue. Did we do anything to ante up the convo? No comment.
Admittedly, these efforts pale in comparison to the real, behind-the-scenes initiatives that our international contemporaries are pumping into social justice. Their ad initiatives are legit about awareness with real money being funnelled in to support tangible, financial assistance – from hotlines to shelters to scholarships.
Meanwhile, God is a Trini and we’re all waiting for the covidiots to stop covidioting.
Should we try harder? Try to be more genuine? Try to catalyse real behaviour change? Try to remember that not every consumer is a covidiot?
Diving in feet first… There’s something happening in Palestine. Is any brand brave enough to talk about it?