Making a Statement in Advertising

In Starbucks’ new advertisement, they encourage us to put away our cell phones and start communicating face to face. . .over a cup of coffee of course. “By showing text-message conversations which voice actors also say out loud at the same time—with real subtext instead of cutesy emoji and bad grammar,” (1) they show that there can be more to a text conversation than meets the eye. Plus, they are often misinterpreted.


With the tag line “Sometimes the best way to connect is to get together,” (1) we are forced to think about how texting has impacted our abilities to connect in person with other people. We don’t only have to deal with the mixed messages that we receive over text, but we also face the issue of our phones becoming  a “constant distraction from one’s immediate surroundings, and the people in them” (1). These ad’s can almost be looked at as PSA’s.

Recently a New York ad agency Mekanism, created a campaign against sexual assault titled “It’s on Us”. This PSA features celebrities asking college students and anyone who cares to look out for those around them who may be at risk of sexual assault.


Mekanism’s CEO Jason Harris said “With ‘It’s on Us’ we want to create a movement that everybody is responsible for sexual assault happening. We need to take ownership and fundamentally change the culture. Instead of just raising awareness, we [have] to develop activists. And so the whole idea behind ‘It’s on Us’ is that we create the idea and slogan and the tools but then the campaign is turned over to everybody to participate” (2).

Other companies have employed tactics like these in order to bring our awareness to changes currently affecting society. AT&T has a campaign against texting and driving called “It Can Wait”, which shows car accidents caused by texting distractions. Budweiser has the same sort of commercial against drunk driving – we all remember the sad puppy, right?

These advertisements are definitely eye opening and sometimes touching, but are they effective marketing for the company? Can pointing out societies flaws in ads really effect the way people live their lives or cause them to make real changes? Can advertisers empower people to take a stand?


(1) Beltrone, G. (2014, September 24). Ad of the Day: Starbucks Cleverly Advocates for Meeting Up Instead of Texting. Retrieved September 24, 2014, from

(2) Monllos, K. (2014, September 23). How One Agency’s Insight Into Millennials Helped It Win the White House as a Client. Retrieved September 24, 2014, from

One thought on “Making a Statement in Advertising

  1. Many ads encourage people to take a stand and get involved with a cause. I think they do work for the most part. With the popularity of social media and ability of these ads to spread virally, it makes it easier to get involved and aware.


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