I've been thinking about El Joker's kind response to a post about the comparative social worth of our line of work versus that of, say, doctors.
And what I'm thinking is: we DO make a difference, though it's easy to forget in the melee of dealing with deadlines and crazy clients. For better or worse we are the world's Culture Mongers, dispensing values and ways of life to aspire to, impacting boggling numbers of people around the globe, even in places where our campaign isn't running. (Like in rural China where Wilson tennis racket cases are coveted shoulder bags.)On one part it's frustrating to not make a difference in the world and on the other, well at least I'm not being depended on to save a limb.
Sure, one measly coupon insert or banner ad won't change the world, but we shouldn't forget that what we produce in the aggregate has a huge subliminal (and liminal) impact. Which is why stuff like Dove's Real Beauty campaign and Italian Vogue featuring non-white faces wields power beyond what research charts show, the power to (slowly but surely) right a wrong situation.
Of course, most of us don't get the opportunity to disseminate our own admirable values in a broadscale campaign that's ostensibly to push product. But we can make a difference, I believe, in seemingly small choices regarding casting or artwork or word choice in copy.
Now back to our regularly scheduled soapbox.