Advertising can’t fix our largest societal problems. It can open eyes, hearts, and minds, without which no progress gets made.
The following posters for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York contain some of the best poster art I’ve seen this year. The work from Conquistadors in Brooklyn also ranks as some of the best advocacy work of the year.
With 228K dead Americans and 8.9 million more infected with COVID-19, the idea that wearing a mask remains offensive to some is astounding to me. Then I recall the depths of selfishness and narcissism that infected us first, and it makes sense.
Mauricio Alarcon, executive creative director at Conquistadors, spoke to Communication Arts about the campaign. Here’s a brief snippet from that exchange: “Beautiful things, I believe, can save lives and even revive a city. In ten years, these posters might just remind us of the monster we fought together in 2020. I am proud because I know how much effort we put into these posters, from motivating the artists to be part of the project to the process of selling the idea to the New York State and the MTA.”
Masterpieces are built one piece at a time with unwavering faith and unending talent. There was no client for this project when Conquistadors dreamt it up. Now, there is. They hustled to create the work and to find a place for it.
Dreaming big and taking action is the recipe for a much better tomorrow. It makes me wonder…what beauty can we add to the world today? Something as small as a smile can help lift other people up. We can also be present for others and ready to actively listen. This step alone, when praticed by millions of people, changes the world.