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Archive for Common Ground

Last month, Macy’s launched COME TOGETHER, a novel fundraising campaign that successfully raised enough funds to feed 10 million people suffering from hunger in the United States. In conjunction with FeedingAmerica, it used a multi-platform approach to reaching its goal: people could choose to HOST, GIVE, or SHOP to donate, either in its retail stores or online.

HOST: Across the country, people hosted dinner parties, and instead of bringing the traditional hostess gift, guests were asked to donate to FeedingAmeerica. The hosts could go to to get ideas for themes from Martha Stewart, send out invitations, and find recipes from such celebrated chefs as Emeril Lagasse.

GIVE: People could donate $1 at any Macy’s register, which provides dinner for seven, any time they shopped.

SHOP: Food banks across the nation sold $5 tickets that enabled shoppers to get special in-store savings on October 17th, online and in retail stores; a portion of the $5 would benefit FeedingAmerica. Macy’s also hosted nationwide events such as VIP dinner parties with Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse to raise awareness and fundraise.

The “Come Together” commercial features a star-studded cast. Both the commercial and the campaign encouraged a return to values such as community, sharing meals at the dinner table, and facilitated simple ways we can give back to the community even as we are buying things for ourselves. I think Macy’s did a wonderful job of taking into account how people are not eating out as much due to the recession, and how they could use this to the advantage of this campaign by inviting people to host at-home dinner parties and donate to those less-fortunate at the same time. The website garners affective involvement from its viewers, as does the song “Come Together,” by the Beatles. The song and the commercial encompass the central message of the campaign: we must come together, whether a celebrity, employee, or anyone, and do our part to be socially responsible; moreover, in keeping with the classical liberalism mindset, it provides incentives to give because it benefits us as well in that as shoppers and hosts, we enjoy quality time with friends and family, throw parties, and shop discounted products at the retail stores. The commercial and website garners attention with the long list of celebrities that appear; for viewers today, they represent a reference group of people who are admired. These stars, such as Usher, Queen Latifah, and Jessica Simpson, are using their fame for good ends by helping Macy’s “Come Together” campaign. Furthermore, it is fitting as these celebrities are all Macy’s “Star” Designers, and the commercial shows them eating at Macy’s with employees of the store (all part of the Macy’s community). There is a clear association with all the elements of the commercial, from the food being offering to the “Star” Designers to the song clearly asking us to come together not only at the dinner table, but as a nation to help one another.


State Farm’ll Be There

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This was too good not to post! I saw this commercial for State Farm today, and I absolutely love the message.  State Farm has continually been highlighted on AdVirtues for their superior virtuous advertising, and this commercial carries on the trend.  The agency is DDB.  Both State Farm and DDB should be commended for bringing us all together once again as family, friends, citizens, and human beings. 

“The anthem is a tribute to the power of human connection. Its people being there for people, unwavering in their loyalty and support. Finding strength in the smallest of gestures, like clasped hands that wont let go. Vulnerability in the largest of events, such as a soldier coming home to her child.” — quote from State Farm on

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know!

Here is our new favorite ad of the week:

It is so great so see a company like Lenscrafters, with such an everyday product, doing advertising that is both interesting and inspiring!  Now, I want to wear glasses!  Oh, and get them from Lenscrafters!  Thoughts?  Comment below!

Categories : General Virtues
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Last August, Oreo released the commercial below, “Girl on Train”. 


From the first time I saw it, I loved the message.  Not only are the two little girls adorable, but the message of a universal humanity is particularly poignant.  Common Ground, one of the 52 virtues identified by the Foundation for a Better Life, is established here through the pleasures of childhood.  Culture specialists and anthropologists have noted the universality of children’s behavior and how cultural boundaries can be crossed through this shared aspect of humanity.  Also, the fact that children tend to be more open to cultural exchange and are “culture-blind” in a sense is beautifully illustrated here.  The two girls’ love for a certain chocolate and creme cookie quickly turns into a discovery of how similar little girls are.  Participating in an intercultural dialogue as a child and understanding the similarities and differences between cultures at a young age allows for more informed and culturally sensitive adults.   

I am sure some cynics might disagree with me and condemn Oreo or Nabisco for “westernizing” or “Americanizing” Asia.  While the American snack food industry, no doubt, has had a great effect on many Asian countries, I do feel that the basic premise and message of this ad is, on the whole, very positive.

In essence, what I love about this ad and what makes it commendable in my eyes is the establishment of a Common Ground and an exchange between cultures.

Categories : Common Ground
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