by Cory Treffiletti, Featured Contributor, November 23, 2016
Every year I’m afforded the unique and wonderful opportunity of sharing my personal thoughts with all of you in this column on the day before Thanksgiving.
This year I’m feeling especially sensitive to things that are going on around us. Needless to say, it’s been a very interesting year.
I am thankful that we all have a voice, and that our voices can be heard. We are living in a time of divisiveness. People are angry and upset, and they have a right to be.
We live in a country that has stated in no uncertain terms that we have the right to voice our opinion, whether it is good or bad, whether it’s intended to further divide or drive us together.
Those of you reading this column are a special group because you influence everything that goes on in this country through media, marketing and advertising. It is your job to shape popular culture as well as to observe popular culture and use the insights you glean to share ideas across the entire population of the world.
You create the ideas that help harness the power of the masses. In this case, the masses are pretty angry.
That’s where I want to give thanks to groups like the Ad Council. I am lucky enough to be getting involved with this organization and believe in everything they stand for. They are taking on topics that need to be addressed.
Many of you may know the Ad Council for its past campaigns with Smokey The Bear and McGruff the Crime Dog, but how many of you know the impact they clearly have these days? How many of you know about their efforts to drive adoption of older children, to stop bullying, and to drive diversity and equality?
Even more important, how many of you have taken the time out of your busy day to think about how you can get involved?
I’m a father and I’m a marketer, but when push comes to shove the father part is the most important. It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve begun to truly understand the idea of creating a better world for my sons. I’m not talking about a political bent – I really don’t care which side of the aisle you’re on. I think it’s our duty, as the people who shape the messaging that goes out into the world and as the people who help shape popular culture, to try and push forth a message of understanding and a message of positivity.
It takes work, and it certainly can take you away from your day job. It can also take you to a better place, both physically as well as mentally. When you tackle social problems with a positive perspective, you can create change. It won’t happen overnight, and it may never happen completely, but in the world of your immediate surroundings it will have an impact.
As you sit with your families this Thanksgiving, and you talk about what’s going on in the world, try to think through your beliefs and see how you are having an impact on the world around you. What can you do to try and leave a positive mark?
Maybe you can get engaged with a group like the Ad Council, or maybe you can simply go volunteer in a school. Maybe you can help one person be happy for just a few minutes, as you try to proceed with your day.
Thank you to all who are taking positive steps, and thank you to organizations like the Ad Council.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!