What Advertisements Would You Add or Delete?

We live in a culture full of advertising.

Advertising bombards us during commercial breaks on television, or before a movie starts in a theatre. Billboards surround us as we drive down a street.  We find ads flipping through a magazine or newspaper, or even above and to the right of this very article.

Advertising is everywhere.  A new social initiative, ADD or DELETE, seeks to challenge but also harness the power of advertising.
Some of that advertising may be benefit humanity constructively, adding value to society. Other advertising may not. Some ads inspire us. Some leave us disgusted.  Overall, the global marketing industry is expected to spend $500 billion dollars on it yearly.

“Our industry needs to redirect some of its creative firepower towards creating positive change instead of generating more distasteful or wasteful ads,” says Fred Haberman, CEO and co-founder of Haberman, a media and marketing firm that is spearheading the ADD or DELETE initiative.

Haberman is one of those few media and marketing firms that “engages the hearts and minds of its employees to support forward-thinking, mission-driven organizations, advocating for issues important to the well being of people and the planet.” ADD or DELETE just does that.

So how does it work?  Go on to the ADD or DELETE Facebook page, and post on the wall ads that you think ADD or DELETE from the marketplace. It can be YouTube videos, web ads, newspaper ads, etc. See and comment on what others think.  Simple.

I think the only confusing part will be the infamous Facebook “like” button, where we hit like not only for ads we think add to society, but ads that we would delete, all within context of course.

The timing of the ADD or DELETE initiative is impeccable.  Super Bowl XLV is around the corner, and we all know that the Super Bowl is notorious for ads.  And those ads cost nearly $3 million for a 30 second spot.  That’s 45 minutes of commercials for a total of $270 million.  What better ways could one spend a fraction of that money?

ADD or DELETE also asks us what could be done if just 5% of the Super Bowl XLV advertising money, $13.5 million, were spent to support positive change in the world.  Imagine what could be done if 5% of of global advertising, a whopping $25 billion were reallocated towards the global good?

So what are those hidden gems of ads that spark the human spirit?  What are the ads we think degrade humanity?  How could companies better use their money towards the global good?  Let’s add to that conversation.

Jonathan Mariano is an MBA candidate with the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, CA. His interests include the convergence between lean & green and pursuing free-market based sustainable solutions.

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