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I Understand That I Don't Understand

No two ways about it. This is a tough week for everyone.

There's no room in the conversation or atmosphere right now for standard marketing tips, or advanced strategy because right now, humankind is struggling to breathe.

We're a startup agency servicing startups because that reflects our roots growing up as skaters, outsiders, activists.

We have family who are impacted by law enforcement's bad behavior. We feel strongly about equality and justice.

We have family who are impacted by looters. We want to ask everyone to stop hurting our family.

I, we, our team, hasn't been through the worst of this type of brutality. Which is why we understand that we can't understand what others have been through.

We're crushed by it, but we're still alive.

Last week, ADWEEK asked, "What should agencies be saying and doing right now?" to which many people replied but perhaps the most direct was:


Hard to disagree. So, the right thing. For some people that's justice, for others, that's forgiveness. It's going to end up a mix of both.

But as an agency, what is our primary function right now?

To amplify and advance the dignity of every person we meet, of every campaign we conduct and every brand we serve.

We often say, "People connect with brands on a human level."

May sound too simple, but, organizations and institutions are comprised of people. People improve their behavior toward one another as their dignity escalates. Compassion and empathy increase as recognition of similarities grows.

And, in all truth, the most successful ad campaigns lean on this simple fact. Increasing another person's dignity is the highest form of relating and communicating that we can accomplish.

But what about all the ads that harp on my low self-esteem? That's to access your dignity.

Humans love solving problems. If an ad can point out that your dignity will increase when you manage your low self-esteem by purchasing "x" or "y" to address a common yet embarrassing problem, it will win.

My point? I don't know exactly what you're going through. I just know it's important and your dignity is the essential element to us healing together.

Humankind only becomes more human with more kindness. Please take that with you into the world today.

- Jason Fishman

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