Happiness Not Included

Ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus, asserted happiness was the result of friendships, freedom and an analyzed life.
Modern day British philosopher Alain de Botton, takes these Epicurean tenets and expounds on them in relation to the pursuit of happiness in today’s consumerist society.

This video plays for 24 minutes, but it’s well worth the investment. Near the end, de Botton visits London agency, St. Lukes and asks them to create an ad that supports Epicurus’ ideals. He then places the ad inside a Manchester mall, mirroring the actions of Diogenes of Oenoanda. Diogenes, one of the wealthiest citizens of his town (the ruins of which are in modern day Turkey), constructed a wall 80 metres long and more than 3 metres high, containing approximately 25,000 words, made up of a wide range of Epicurean writings. This wall sat in the middle of the town’s marketplace, reminding 2nd century Greeks that happiness would not be found in the acquisition of material goods.
[via Fresh Creation]

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. landlocked says:

    ah ha! The man lived in Greece he did take the sea and the sun as a given.
    Outside of that: interesting and at some point in our lives but maybenot through our entire lives it all becomes relevant.