Some advertising can resonate profoundly. When I first saw Dow’s new advertising in an issue of BusinessWeek, I just stopped. All I could think about was who could I share this excitement with. I have a bunch of reputation cronies who delight in big believable game-changing thought leadership platforms. They would care how I felt. I made sure to reach out to them. The campaign had apparently already launched on broadcast which is something I do little of. However, the next day while on the treadmill, I saw the campaign sans words but felt the same sense of good sentiment and captivity.
At first I focused on the photography which drew me in. Then I smiled knowingly at Dow’s concept of the human element, the missing element in the Periodic Table of Elements. After reading what I could about the new campaign, I found Dow’s chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris’ speech on their web site (Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals, May 2006). Below I quote from a section of his speech that ties together the human element with Dow’s plans to engage in the major societal, political and economic issues of the day:
“For still others, we have to invent the roadmap itself. And we will. And we will make it happen by keeping faith with The Human Element. It goes without saying that The Human Element is not, like carbon or nitrogen or iron, an element to be shaped to our will . . .
It is rather the element that shapes each of us who is a member of the human family, defines us, and will weigh whether, during our time as stewards of the bounty around us, we did more than create value, we were true to our values…we did more than build our net worth, we were worthy.”
Oftentimes we forget that we are part of one large human family. This campaign was a good reminder that we have work to do. Kudos to Dow for this thoughtful campaign.