If you were to ask Euro­pean con­su­mers about the pre­fer­red form of govern­ment you would most cer­tain­ly find a high level of appr­oval for demo­cra­cy. But … what, may I ask, has demo­cra­cy lost in modern com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons? How does demo­cra­cy work? The­re is only one suc­cinct ans­wer to this: Demo­cra­cy is the „art“ of pro­cu­ring a majo­ri­ty! Wit­hout the agree­ment of the majo­ri­ty the­re can be no decis­i­on, wit­hout a decis­i­on we come to a standstill and thus we make no progress.

Appli­ed to adver­ti­sing, this means: In adver­ti­sing, the majo­ri­ty are poten­ti­al cus­to­mers. The orchestra­ti­on of the majo­ri­ty fin­ding is car­ri­ed out by the adver­ti­sing agen­ci­es. They stri­ve to reach, inspi­re, and per­sua­de the majo­ri­ty of poten­ti­al buy­ers to buy your product.

But with one cru­cial dif­fe­rence: in real life, the money belongs to the peo­p­le and is mana­ged exclu­si­ve­ly by the „repre­sen­ta­ti­ves of the peo­p­le,“ whe­re­as in adver­ti­sing, the money belongs to you. In adver­ti­se­ment an idea under dis­cus­sion is tal­ked about until it is ren­de­red accep­ta­ble to the majo­ri­ty. Schröder’s “bas­ta method” – mea­ning the sole decis­i­on of the money pro­vi­der and CEO – is sus­pen­ded in favor of harm­o­ny addic­tion. The result: we do what has always work­ed, – and does­n’t hurt or offend anyo­ne, and what ever­yo­ne can accept. Whe­ther it is still as sui­ta­ble as it once was, whe­ther it gives impe­tus, whe­ther it is cou­ra­ge­ous – in short, whe­ther it is the right thing to do – can only be assu­med. And this is exact­ly why we want to cast doubt on this pre­mi­se in this chapter!

Never in histo­ry has a com­pro­mi­se work­ed as a basis for action. And to put it even more cle­ar­ly: Never can such a pre­mi­se work in com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on. Every demo­cra­tic majo­ri­ty decis­i­on in com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on stands for clo­sing off a new path.

Yes, of cour­se it could work. It could even work pro­fi­ta­b­ly with a lot of luck. But it remains a com­pro­mi­se. It won’t have a snowball’s chan­ce in hell of achie­ving the right kind of suc­cess. It will never gene­ra­te the 37,000,000 clicks, and peo­p­le won’t talk about it eit­her. At best, it will result in a good cli­ent-agen­cy rela­ti­onship based on part­ner­ship. And it might be that ever­yo­ne is hap­py, that ever­yo­ne remains con­vin­ced that they did the right thing.

But the­re will be a missed oppor­tu­ni­ty to crea­te some­thing gre­at, new, and unpre­ce­den­ted. A fami­li­ar play is suc­cessful­ly put on, which usual­ly trig­gers res­trai­ned applau­se. But the cam­paign never gets a stan­ding ova­ti­on! „Do you or your com­pa­ny need the­se?“ you may ask as the finan­cer. „Yes, of cour­se!“ As Ste­ve Jobs once asked John Scul­ley, whom he was try­ing to woo away from his post as CEO at Pep­si? „Do you want to spend your life sel­ling sugar water – or do you want to chan­ge the world with us?“ And so Scul­ley beca­me CEO of Apple from 1983 to 1993. He got to help chan­ge our world.

We want to chan­ge the world with your money and our adver­ti­sing cam­paign. We will help you show your com­pe­ti­ti­on how to com­mu­ni­ca­te bet­ter with the help of a mana­ged (and not a flaw­less) democracy.

Inte­rest? Call us or stay tun­ed on our blog “Think befo­re doing”