The New American Dream

Author, speaker and creative consultant, Annette Moser-Wellman, is coming from a soulful place. In a recent post on her new blog she reminds us that there’s much more to life than material possessions, status, promotions, award-winning campaigns and the like.

There’s a new American dream. Working on projects that matter and pursuing work we are passionate about have become the gold-standard of a life well-lived. Instead of amassing stockpiles of money, more are choosing to spend energy creating a better world. From fighting global warming, to battling poverty, technological tools have brought Americans closer to the plight of the human community and we are responding.
Legacy used to be a goal dangling at the end of life. But the ability to effect change now, through influencing public opinion, grass-roots fund-raising and more, have proven legacy is a real-time effort. The question becomes “Am I living a life with purpose today?

I’ve been asking myself this question on a daily basis for the past few months, and the answers I find are rarely what I want to hear.
I once had such high hopes for my ad career. Now, my main thought is I want to use this decade plus of learning and experience to benefit my community, or someone else’s community for that matter. Selling products of questionable merit for a company I don’t care about is a waste of time and resources in my book. Even if you make decent money at it, you go home with an empty feeling and there’s simply no future in such things. Not for me.
Advertising is a powerful medium, but it’s almost always abused. Those of us who create branded communications do so for anyone willing to pay our way. I’d like to become a lot more selective. There are plenty of worthy products, services and causes that need advertising.

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. telecom says:

    Personally, I’m too overworked and too indebted to even think about the question. But I have a hunch that after my fatal heart attack I will be remembered fondly as somebody who lived a life of purpose.

  2. kamakazi says:

    Here, Here David. I firmly agree. I think for many people though (telecom included) you have to strike a balance. If you can’t do fulfilling work in your day job do side projects that mean something to you and the world at large. I came to my sad realization in advertising when a brief for a big oil company dropped on my desk. At a time of record profit for them I just couldn’t see myself applying my talent to that and I left that agency.I have personally seen younger creatives refusing to work on accounts that would ravage their consciouses so I know there’s hope for the future.