A Call To Service

July 24, 2008 | blog | By Mike Sullivan

Our Democracy isn’t perfect. Without a doubt, we live in the greatest nation on earth, but there are still a number of incredible challenges and things that need fixing. Energy. Education. Health Care. Tax Reform. Tort Reform. The environment. The list is long. And often, pretty frustrating.

Health care alone is a Gordian knot of hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, lawyers and patients all pulling at once and doing nothing but making the knot even tighter. Presidents, members of Congress and citizens alike all scream for answers and solutions, yet somehow, year after year, term after term, nothing really seems to get solved. Why? It’s not like there’s a shortage of smart people in the U.S. Could it be that we just need direction? Do we need a new forum?

Maybe we just need one honkin’ creative brief to get the ball rolling!

Here at The Loomis Agency, there is a big sign in our front lobby that says, “We believe there is no problem that a great idea, executed with excellence, can’t solve.” It’s one of the foundational principles we use to govern the agency. Given that concept, who among us in the advertising and marketing community – the strategists, the researchers, the conceptual thinkers – wouldn’t hold the same to be true for any problem in America?

How is it the best agencies in America can sit in their conference rooms for an hour, a day, a weekend, a month – and solve any marketing problem put before them, yet bigger issues that potentially endanger our freedom, go unchecked and unsolved? Not by us, by anybody! Admittedly, marketing and health care solutions aren’t apples to apples, but creative solutions are creative solutions.

Maybe the time has come to let the marketing guys take a crack.

Who among us wouldn’t love the opportunity to spend a week in Washington gathered with the best minds in the business, with the singular charge of finding solutions to very real national problems? Who wouldn’t love the chance to be in the room when the national protection plan was concepted to protect our citizens from natural disasters? Imagine, an environmental protection conversation that didn’t immediately turn into a bi-partisan punching bag.

We should put a national issues all-star team together. Give ‘em a giant white board, 2 packs of markers, all the Starbucks and Mango Smoothies they can drink and all the M&Ms and fresh baked cookies they can eat. Throw in a Nano and they’ll have tax reform knocked out by lunch

Great advertising has often been a driving part of social change. You remember Iron Eyes Cody and the tearful anti-littering spot. Woodsy Owl‘s “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute.” Look at the great anti-tobacco work being done by The Truth campaign.

It all goes to show that great thinking is great thinking whether it’s in the theatre, in a book, in the Halls of Congress or in an ad. I’m telling you, we could do this.

Who wants to take the first crack at the brief?


Mike Sullivan

President at LOOMIS, the country’s leading challenger brand advertising agency


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