An advertising manifesto (not like those shitty ones that are basically three quarters of all ads these days): part 4

Yesterday I promised to explain the real example of a new, possibly revolutionary, somewhat advertising entity that my wife and I started last year.

Some time in May we went to dinner and had an epiphany: if advertising’s powers got the planet into the mess of the Climate Crisis, then they could apply those same powers to reverse the process.

I know. Mind-blowing.

The entire explanation of what we came up with would take a lot more writing than I’m prepared to do, so here’s the short version:

Many of the people who have the best information about how to deal with the Climate Crisis are not good at communicating what they know. And that’s fine: advertising people are not good at environmental science; environmental scientists are not good at reducing a lot of information to a persuasive and digestible message.

So if we put the communication people together with the science people, we could find a range of solutions that would change public behaviour and save the planet/human race.

Our organisation is called Gigantic Fucking Solutions, and we act as an enabler of creative ideas that can mitigate the Climate Crisis.

The creation and exploration of GFS has led us from global ad agencies and state senators to farmers and university professors. We have a series of briefs that we’ve run through senior strategists, and a monthly meeting where we invite people to explore creative solutions.

We were asked to speak about it at Cannes this year (for obvious reasons we won’t be doing that). But we’ve also been asked to design a university course for this Autumn (for possibly less obvious reasons that might be on pause). We’ve been asked to help with global panels, environmental initiatives and, unexpectedly, festivals run by someone who starred in E.T.

Yes, the Coronavirus has put the odd spanner in the works, but it’s also accelerated our progress towards certain climate goals, so that’s fine.

It’s been quite a ride so far, and we’re only a year in.

Has it been perfect? Well, it has yet to generate much income, but we’re not aiming to make that happen at the moment. I currently freelance to keep things ticking along, but between the two of us we can cover the needs of GFS and pay the mortgage. We’ve kept our ethical ad agency going because the people we meet through GFS sometimes want creative work.

Otherwise it allows us the experience the magic three pillars of a satisfying use of time: autonomy, mastery and purpose. It also gives us a magic pass to have conversations with all sorts of fascinating people (last week it was the head of the UN’s panel of Nobel Peace Prize winners. Yesterday it was Andrew Yang), and it seems to have invigorated a lot of people who really want to help in this space but don’t know how.

So that’s just one example of what you could do. It’s literally cost us nothing financial, but our long-term vision for it is as an opportunity to bring the best creative work in the world to the greatest brief/problem the planet has ever had to deal with. In our opinion there’s no better way to spend our time.

In a way we have hundreds of ‘co-workers’, but they, like us, are doing it for the good of the human race, rendering salaries and pension plans conveniently non-existent. Some of the solutions are designed to generate income, and when that happens, the creators will be paid.

If you want to join our search for Gigantic Fucking Solutions, just pop me a note in the comments and we’ll happily explain it all to you. There is a website, but it doesn’t work properly without a more complete, face-to-face explanation.

So we looked at all those questions in the third part of this post and designed our entity around it, so now we have an entity that ticks all our boxes (money pending).

But this post is really about finding your own gigantic fucking solution to whatever your gigantic fucking problem might be. What do you want to do, and how do want to do it? Do you need investment, or can you get by on freelance money? Do you need employees, or can you offer something attractive enough for them to join in for free? Do you need to produce ads, or can you create something even more interesting?

The piece of paper is currently blank, but you’re the kind of creative person who can fill it with whatever you want. There’s never been a better moment to give this a shot.

What are you waiting for?