Early Adopters: The Courageous Minority

We do not need to end all other methods of advertising today if we are to create an advertising system controlled by the people who are advertised to. The only people that require such a prerequisite to change are those who are not yet committed to changing advertising.

Changes in power whether Women’s Suffrage or Civil Rights all began with a small group of people who saw their value differently from how the world valued them. Their success did not hinge on changing the world’s assessment over night but on changing the self-perception of one more person each day. These individuals are the early adopters and these are the people who will nurture a future where advertising is controlled by the people being advertised to.

We cannot save our environment or fix the inequality of wealth and opportunity without modernizing the economic system that has given rise to our biggest corporations and the wealthiest one percent of our population. I believe this change begins by putting people in control of advertising. Advertising is the instrument for delivering choice to consumers. Consumer choice is the most powerful tool people have for influencing corporate power because it gives them the ability to affect corporate profits. If advertising is unaffordable to the vast majority of entrepreneurs and small businesses then we lose the potency of choice.

Securing this future of advertising requires that we protect and preserve personal privacy from the encroachment by corporations. This right cannot be traded just because someone chooses to participate in a connected and social world.

The transition from an antiquated and oppressive system of advertising to one that respects personal privacy and empowers the public is once again a battle between a tribe of early adopters against the vast power of entrenched interests. History has shown that a winning strategy lies in seeking to destroy the singularity of their control and not those in control. But, it has also shown that political victories that fail to also secure economic empowerment are hollow in a world controlled by corporate power.

For the main stream, the obstacle to realizing a better future is the conflict they carry between their desire for something better and their lack of confidence in achieving what they want. For the early adopters, no such conflict exists. This is because once they visualize a better solution their only fear is failing to act in the pursuit of what is right. Changing advertising will happen while the antiquated system runs in parallel with what is right. But, this change will only happen due to the singular courage of the early adopters.