Mile High Meditations

“You tell me it’s the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead” -The Beatles

Last month, we reported on MDC Partners’ plan to “sprinkle some Bogusky dust” on the rest of the company’s holdings.
Given that Alex Bogusky’s new post and title, Chief Creative Insurgent, could be anxiety-inducing for some of the other agencies, he took the time to explain himself in a letter (which he later made available for all to read).
There’s one passage in the letter that truly stands out, in that it reveals how Bogusky sees himself and marcom’s role in society.

I’m also more and more convinced that for capitalism and corporations to evolve into a new, more aware, way of going to market we will have to begin to design new structures. New accounting practices. New sustainable systems. And a new cooperation with customers. As marketers, it seems as though we may not understand what role we will play in all of this. After all, we’re not engineers. We’re not economists.
But I have come to believe that without marketers, this next revolution will fail. We must get involved and bring our talents to bear on this corporate and capitalist redesign because we are, in many ways, the conscience of the boardroom. We are the emotional connection from company to customer. We are the voice of the people inside the corporation. We can feel the rightness and wrongness of an issue and not even know why. The world needs that right now. We are the missing ingredient, in the pursuit of what is next.

I wondered what Boulder would do to Bogusky. I think we’re starting to find out.
Personally, I’m impressed. From the beginning of my ad career to this day, I’ve always felt advertising is too important to leave it for someone else to do. Sure, I have produced my share of crap–doing so is a fraternal ritual in advertising. But I’ve always felt a time would come when all the skills I’ve acquired in this business would be put to use for a higher purpose. Bogusky calls for a “capitalist redesign”. I want in, and the time is clearly now.
As things stand today, there’s plenty of good work that needs doing. Take the nation’s alternative transportation needs, health care needs or energy needs. I’ve spent a lot of time suggesting one packaged goods brand over another, but there’s better work to be done. I’m not talking about advocacy work, I’m suggesting there’s a need to build brands in the fields mentioned. Quick, name a leading solar energy brand…
BTW, this is not a photo of Alex Bogusky:



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.