Crying Indian – Why Do We Remember?

July 26, 2009 at 1:29 pm (advertising, Branding, commercials, Education, marketing, TV advertising) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The other day myself and some other instructors were preparing for a presentation to kids covering First Aid for the Environment. Jokingly I said, “Why don’t we show the crying Indian ad.” That got me thinking; what makes this ad memorable?

The ad I was referring to was actually a Public Service Announcement  (PSA) that first aired more than 10 years before I was born; yet I remember it to this day. That is a testament to how long the ad ran, and how memorable it was. With its “People Start Pollution. People can stop it.” tagline, the PSA arguably kicked off the green movement (though Keep America Beautiful had been running PSAs since the early ‘60s).

Yes, this PSA is memorable, but what did it actually accomplish? According to the Ad Council “By the end of the campaign, Keep America Beautiful local teams had helped to reduce litter by as much as 88% in 300 communities, 38 states, and several countries.”

So what makes this and other ads so memorable and effective? Do we connect with it emotionally – responding to the Indian crying? Did it bring to the surface something we hadn’t thought of before – what litter does to the environment? Was it just provocative enough to get us thinking? I believe it was a combination of these factors, along with the simple clear message that it put in front of the viewer.

Ironically an Italian played the Indian, and there were a few more Keep America Beautiful PSAs of similar style and content made, but none as successful as the crying Indian in the canoe. Regardless, it remains one of the most memorable and impactful ads almost 40 years after it first aired.

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Bambi’s Father – Recycled

July 8, 2009 at 7:03 am (Art, Design) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Rhino_heads

Do you like the idea of hanging a trophy animal head on your wall, but don’t like a dead animal staring you in the face all the time? Enter Cardboard Safari.

Cardboard Safari “is a tiny little company located in Charlottesville, Virginia.” This may be true, but the tiny company is making a big impact. Their products are trophy animal heads made from recycled cardboard. The heads come as flat sheets that the consumer assembles, much like the thin plywood animal puzzles of our youth. They even have full-bodied Rhinos!

So what kind of “big impact” is Cardboard Safari making? They’ve been spotted in Canada’s Style at Home magazine, on HGTV’s ColorSplash, and they are even entered into the Art in Place competition in their hometown to make a larger-than-life Rambling Robbie out of plate steel.

deer_heads

The products don’t promote the killing of animals in any way, and are a true cradle-to-cradle product – It’s made of recycled materials, the waste materials can be recycled, and the whole product can be recycled at the end of it’s life cycle. The company also supports the International Rhino Foundation.

I don’t know about you, but I’m planning on buying a deer head, bison head, moose head, rhino head…

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