In waves of change and tribulation, the lessons always follow. It is in these storms where we may find what matters most, leading ourselves to shore with strong values as our sail and a distinct sense of self to keep us afloat. This is the human condition. As an industry that serves people, their wants and their needs, advertising is a profoundly human field. It is unfortunate, then to think that its success is now measured by impressions and data points, that monetary gains are awarded by shady business practices, and that stories are told through impersonal messages, creeping ahead of us at every corner. It is essential that we remember whom we are trying to reach-real people, and who we are at the core; real people riding the waves just like anybody else.
While on a subtle level, the advertising we are immersed in each day informs the way we view society and our inner being. Advertising compels the way we think, what we consume, and how we develop and act on our morals and values. With such a public presence, advertising affects everyone, for better or for worse. This tool can not only be used to increase benefits for brands and agencies, but for society at large, if we take the initiative to develop clear values that create unity, acceptance, and truth in our world.
Human values can also help to serve the longevity and identity of a brand. To become a strong brand or agency that survives the test of time, you must have a clear sense of value through and through. Not only does this drive greater purpose in everything that you do, but it can also help you to stay relevant, knowing what makes you different and important in the ever-changing space.
Acceptance is a profound value and an agent for change in the advertising field. In a commercial, Cheerios chose to promote its heart-healthy cereal with the image of a biracial family. Despite some hateful backlash, the ad helped shift perspectives about the ‘typical’ American family, thus advancing advertising norms, and resulting in a 77% increase in brand exposure, the weeks following its launch. This goes to show the double-sided impact of advertising on a human level and the ways other businesses can begin to be ‘heart-healthy’ in their own messaging.
Values-based advertising is another approach that seeks to leverage the emotions of the public to create a long-lasting impression. By tapping into the deeply rooted values of consumers, advertisers can reach them on a deeper level and more effectively capture their attention in the first place. Values-based advertising strengthens brand loyalty as well as human connection.
For media agency, Exverus human value is at their very core. Literally meaning, “about the truth”, Exverus is restoring truth and transparency back to the media space. In a public landscape where tech companies like Facebook become giant media companies and betray the trust of its users, transparency is a hot topic, and for good reason. Truth has been kind of a lost cause as of the last 15 years and while the rest of the advertising world chases shady accounting practices and thousands of data charts, Exverus reaches engagement on a human level.
Beginning as a freelance assignment, Exverus grew into something much bigger with the support of previous clients and referrals. Now, Everus is standing on its own two feet and it’s playing the balancing act quite well. Combining hard facts with emotion, short-term sales goals with long-term brand equity, the agency works to be as well rounded as a real person. While responsive to fluctuations in trends and changes in the industry, its driving principals are always at the heart of its identity. As an agency that lives and breaths truth, its success is an inspiration for agency workers to regain the trust of marketers and consumers. The agency provides an ideal vision for the future of authentic, values-based advertising, for agency models and for consumers at large. In order to fulfill this vision, we must all look within to understand what makes us different and look around us to understand what makes us all the same.
For President and Founder of Exverus Media, William (Bill) Durrant, these lessons are essential. He states, “I have never and will never stop learning. I have found practical applications for my business from books as wide-ranging as Start With Why by Simon Sinek to Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. There is a lesson to be learned everywhere if you know how to look for it.”