Advertising can stand to do a little more

In Agency News, Industry News, Integrated Campaign on December 8, 2012 at 10:02 am

Student Photos

Excerpts from a Letter to the Editor
Native Sun News –
June 20-27 Issue
Reprinted with permission.
Special thanks to editor Jesse Abernathy
We rarely have time to reflect back on accomplishments or jobs well done. And by “we”, I mean we as a society. We as an industry. We as a marketing and communications firm. In this hustle-bustle, get-it-all-done-yesterday world that we’ve created, those times of reflection are ultimately saved only for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and retirement.

But not today.

Today, I want to reflect on the accomplishments of an Introduction to Business class from Oglala Lakota College in Pine Ridge. This spirited group of civic-minded students are working hard to better their community. They believe in the place they live. They believe in each other. More importantly, they believe in the future of their people. They passed out hundreds of disposable cameras to Lakota children. There were no rules about what to take photos of or what’s appropriate. The only direction that came with the camera was a question: What does hope look like to you?  This collection of nearly 2,000 photos figured prominently in a suicide awareness campaign that launched on the reservation in the Fall.

I trust that you will consider attending the opening viewing of this art installation on December 14 in the Dahl Arts Center’s Inez & Milton Shaver Gallery. The display will be open for viewing from 4:00pm-6:00pm with a special program to follow in the adjacent Cyclorama Room. The exhibit will be open to the public through December 31, 2012.

This video doesn’t exist


Humbly, I want to thank that class for what they taught me. That group of Lakota college students gave me a first glimpse into a world that few advertising professionals truly understand. And they gave me a view into a way that life can be lived that surprised me, that invigorated, and enlightened me. They showed me, perhaps for the first time, the true relevance of working in advertising. More importantly, they serve as an important example for our local advertising community. Do something to better your community. Do something to change social forces. Do something to battle societal perceptions. Do something that won’t show up in your company’s bottom line. Do something.

The incalculable genius of Albert Einstein perhaps said it best: “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

Jason Alley
Creative Director/Principal, Message
Board Member, Black Hills Chapter of the American Advertising Federation



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