Joseph Dumont “Can Advertising Save the World?” SXSW Eco 2013

Joseph Dumont is a co-executive producer of the documentary “The Naked Brand.” In a 15 minute short talk, Joseph asked these questions: – In advertising what is changing for us? – How do we communicate with people moving forward? – How has advertising changed? We were then shown a pretty cool and amazingly old “The Flintstones” cartoon. Joseph quipped that Fred Flintstone had the first environmental car. (It’s cuz, ya know, they used their legs to power their cars made of stone and wood…ya get it? ya get it?) After showing cartoon footage, he then showed us a clip of Fred and Barney smoking cigarettes. It’s kind of amazing to think that this kind of advertising took place…though of course, I’m sure we have shitty advertising going on today as well. The following was taken directly from their site: “The Naked Brand is a story about how corporations can help save the planet one small step at a time. It’s an introduction to a bright new future where companies tell the truth and work hard to create better products and a better planet.” Anyway, that commercial was broadcast many a year ago, when many people really did think cigarettes were not bad but good for you. But even in 1994, Joseph reminded us, we had the 7 major tobacco CEO’s testified before Congress stating that nicotine was not addictive. I guess they were all on something a bit more potent than tobacco to say something as insane as that. So now we have today, where only (according to Dumont) 20% of the people trust in advertising as we’ve known it. What...

Chip Giller from Grist: The Importance of Humor and Storytelling

Founder and editor of Grist Chip Giller gave a great 15 minute preso. Before I try to surmise his presentation, I have to say that this talk really resonated with me. Also, it seemed to really flow along with the collective ideal that ecological matters need to be presented in a more riveting and human way. I think these discussions need to be incorporated into mainstream culture, so that eventually it won’t be uncommon to hear a conservative middle class family in Kansas discussing environmental issues (I can dream can’t I?). Chip’s talk centered around how humor and storytelling can help with the green cause. As is the case with many fascinating people, his childhood was atypical in the sense that he was focused and exhibited a higher than average level of maturity. I’m sure he went through the same types of things we all went through during adolescence and beyond, but what he dwelt on in the beginning of the talk was his focus on journalism at a young age. In high school he did in-depth journalism on green stuff, and found that nobody really paid much attention so no changes actually took place. Thennnnnn he founded  Grist in 1999 and used humor and storytelling, which produced results, unlike his high school experience.  70% of the users say they make changes to their lifestyle based on the information found within the site. Now that is something. He then went on to talk about some very fundamental axioms regarding human existence, the main being that storytelling is hardwired into our biology. We tell stories to entertain, to laugh, and to cry. Following...
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