How Advertising Will Heal the World and Your Business (Book Review)

“85.4% of the respondents believe that ‘living a meaningful life’ is important.” – Mark Woerde

Lessons learnt: People want to do good, make a meaningful impact. Time and money keep us from actually doing this. Incorporate prosocial behaviour into your company.

Will advertising heal the world?

If the premise of your book is: advertising will heal the world (and your business), then you’ve got big shoes to fill. Mark Woerde takes on this challenge and is actively living the life. Does this mean that his book fully delivers on the promise, maybe. Between the cross-sectional research with quite socially favourable questions (of course everyone wants the world to be a better place) and lack of concrete advice, (more) examples or case-studies, he does get his point across. It’s not only we the people that should treat our world better, brands also have a role to play.

A key observation to make, before diving deeper into the book, is that today is the perfect time to be a prosocial brand. We (in the rich countries) don’t have to worry about our next meal, a roof over our head or the possibility of a bomb killing us. It’s the time of abundance and we have the luxury of being able to think about other people. Woerde states that living a meaningful life should be the base of Maslow’s Pyramid. I disagree and think that it’s something that is more to the side. First, you care for the physical safety of yourself (and your family), and on top, we think about the self-actualization of yourself and others around you.

So why do we help others? Where do these feelings originate? As always this question is answered by both nature (e.g. your genes) and nurture (e.g. your upbringing). The nature argument revolves around how groups have evolved and who in the groups have survived. Woerde argues for survival of the kindest, see The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins for other arguments. He also argues that prosocial behaviour is promoted via stories. I tend to agree and recommend reading Just Babies by Paul Bloom to learn more about how nature and nurture interact.

A wiser way to spend $450 billion

The book (or actually half of it) is about how to better spend your advertising budget. Woerde is even more ambitious than that and argues that prosocial causes can be made the main course of your brand or even your company. But how does it help your company? This is answered by the following response from the survey: 64% of people state that it makes sense to buy prosocial brands over brands that are not. I think that there is a small flaw in the logic.

People want to buy the ‘better’ brand, but most probably will not because of at least two reasons. The first is that they don’t think. In the supermarket, they will buy the same brand they bought last time. Your brain is configured to be as efficient (lazy) as possible, you won’t consider all brands of peanut butter when you are getting a new jar. The second is that they have an economic incentive to not buy your prosocial brand. What if the local brand is as good, doesn’t save children in Africa, but saves you 50%, many people would go for that brand. This in no way means that there are no prosocial brands, nor that they shouldn’t be there. It does mean that not 64% of the purchases in your grocery store will be to these brands.

But when they are they can be to three kinds of prosocial brands. The first is a donating prosocial brand. These brands ‘simply’ donate to good causes. The second is prosocial service brands. These brands actively help society by offering a service (for free). The third (and arguably best) category consists of meaningful prosocial brands. These brands incorporate their social effort with active participation by themselves and their clients. Pampers, for instance, made sure that each pack of diapers equalled one vaccine.

“Branding is not merely about differentiating products; it is about striking emotional chords with consumers. It is about cultivating identity, attachment, and trust to inspire customer loyalty.” – Nirmalya Kumar

The Social Business Enterprise

An audacious goal for your (or any) company would be to become a social business enterprise. This means that the social goal should be primary to your business (financial) goals. Some businesses are doing this with their brands. For instance, Unilever uses iodized salt to combat iodine deficiency in Afrika. But would it be feasible for your own brand?

To that questions, I remain lacking an answer. Firstly because every company has her own business model, own vision and own challenges. Second because it’s not clear for me how the book has helped me in transforming my company to become a more prosocial brand. It did help me confirm my positive feelings about donating 10% of my income, but I’m not sure how my company could become more prosocial.

Despite my critical review, I do think that this book has great value. It’s a kickstarter for a social debate on what companies are, what they should do and how they can help better the world. Maybe a second book should start with more examples and reasons for companies to become more prosocial. After that, it could tackle the advertising issues and show how the prosocial brands always end on top.

Exercises STUB

Exercises

 

next week 😛 x2

2-4 min foam rolling calf

Barbell mash 20 kg bar. Denk er aan dat je zo langzaam mogelijk de barbell over je kuit rolt.

Elevated banded stretch. 10-15 reps 2 sec hold. Denk er aan dat je de rubberband op de voet net onder de veter positie plaatst en dat de knie zo recht mogelijk over de voet gaat.

Negative calf raises. 10 reps. Let hierbij op het naar voren drukken van je knie en het naar je toe trekken van je tenen. Ook hier de knie recht over de voet.

 

this week

2-4 min foam rolling calf

Barbell mash 15/20 kg plate. Denk er aan dat je zo langzaam mogelijk de barbell over je kuit rolt.

2 min lunge. (low dragon) Denk er aan dat je hierbij zoveel mogelijk ontspant terwijl je je lichaamsgewicht gebruikt om je knie naar voren te drukken.

Negative calf raises. 10 reps. Let hierbij op het naar voren drukken van je knie en het naar je toe trekken van je tenen.

Sluit af met een Squat, zodat je aan je nieuwe range off motion kan wennen.

Daarnaast hebben we je voeding aangepast naar de 40:30:30 ratio. Aan jou de taak om er voor te zorgen dat je macro’s zo gelijkmatig mogelijk verdeeld blijven.

 

last week

2-4 min foam rolling calf (r&l)

3 position calf/ankle stretch (r&l)
30-60 sec neutral , 30-60 sec external, 30-60 sec internal

Ankle bounces (r&l)
50 reps (optional 50 extra reps)

Direct hierna voer je een aantal sets uit van de wall facing squat. Belangrijk voor jou dat je gaat bewegen vanuit de zittende positie.

 

2 weeks ago

Hip opener wall inc barbell: 2 min

  • feet and keens in line
  • heels close to hip line

Hip opener floor: 2 min

  • press hip to heel
  • press knee out
  • circular movements
  • focus on though spots
  • last 30 sec. ankle flat

Daily wall facing squat: 10 reps

  • use target (stoel/ball)
    • 20kg plate + wall ball
  • low tempo
  • chest up, knees out

 

3 weeks ago

2x 1min ankle (move) on plate/book

2x 1 min weight/chair???

30x squat + door hold

hip opener on the ground

 

4 weeks ago

ankle stretch 4x 1min on 10kg plate/book

hip opener wall 2 min

gym: ankle stretch rubber band (lunge movements)

  • 10x2x2 keer per kant twee keer

Analysis of Rick & Morty – Ricksy Business & A Rickle in Time

Season 1 episode 11 Rick & Morty – Ricksy Business

1. You (situation, comfort)

Beth and Jerry leave the house. Everything should be normal.

Beth and Jerry arrive at the Titanic theme park.

2. Need (want something)

Summer wants to throw a party. Rick too.

Jerry wants to see the Titanic.

3. Go (new situation)

The party is in full swing.

Jerry and ‘Rose’ have fun on the Titanic.

4. Search (progress, adapt)

Party escalates.

Jerry goes on.

5. Find (no turning back)

Morty has a connection with Jessica.

Jerry has a bit of fun.

6. Take (trouble, pay a price)

And whoops, consequence. The party has moved to another planet. Now they have to get out of there.

And whoops, ‘Rose’ strips naked and wants (opposite of 2) Jerry.

7. Return (go back to where it started)

Crystals have been found (which were not there to escape XD). Rick

Beth comes to save Jerry.

8. Change (now capable of change)

Rick stops time. Time to clean house, like nothing happened.

Beth and Jerry go back home, leave the titanic things there.

 

 

Season 2 episode 1 Rick & Morty – A Rickle in Time

1. You (situation, comfort)

The normal Rick & Morty setting. House.

Beth and Jerry are there too.

2. Need (want something)

Try and keep shit together.

Get ice cream.

3. Go (new situation)

Multi-universe.

Hit a dear.

4. Search (progress, adapt)

Rick tries to get it back together. Doesn’t work.

Want to help the dear. Hunter claims the dear is his to kill.

5. Find (no turning back)

Makes a solution (button).

Fixing the horse.

6. Take (trouble, pay a price)

And the universe splits again.

Rick locked up.

OR Space monster fixes it and wants to put them into prison.

Difficult to fix the dear. Beth needs to admit she couldn’t do it.

7. Return (go back to where it started)

Space creature fixes it for them.

OR Rick finally fixes it.

Fixing dear.

8. Change (now capable of change)

There is no God. Everything fine again.

Back home.

Bi-weekly sport challenge

So here are the workouts that I will be testing myself with this year. During the year, I might add some more. With a dice (or random nr generator) I will now select the first 5 challenges and add them to my calendar (to do that week).

 

  1. 10km run (55min)
  2. Big Three (240kg)
  3. 1km run (5min)
  4. BikeSquat (241)
  5. Baseline (5:54)
  6. 5km run (25min)
  7. Basecamp (new)
  8. 21km run (120min)

 

  1. A ‘simple’ 10km run, no breaks, as fast as possible
  2. Squat, Deadlift, Benchpress (total weight lifted for 1 rep per exercise)
  3. A really quick challenge
  4. Do the following minutes of Bike-Air squats, 1-1-2-1-3-2-1-1 (14 minutes total), count the calories (bike) and number (air squats)
  5. 500m row, 40 Air Squats, 30 Sit Ups, 20 Push Ups, and 10 Pull Ups
  6. Run for 5km
  7. 1km row, Front/Overhead Squats, 60 Sit Ups, 40 Push Ups, and 20 Pull Ups
  8. Half marathon

 

  • Week 1-2: 1
  • Week 3-4: 7
  • Week 5-6: 8
  • Week 7-8: 4
  • Week 9-10: 2

 

Stoic Fatalism

As you might know, I follow the (ancient) philosophy of Stoicism. Read my full Stoicism article here. Today I want to delve into one specific aspect of stoicism, fatalism.

Before I start, here’s a short (personal) definition of Stoicism: the pursuit of tranquillity, to be happy with what you have without experiencing negative emotions. In other words, Stoicism (for me, and in general for the philosophy) is not to banish emotion from life, but to banish negative emotion.

 

Past Fatalism

The ancient Stoics believed that fate determines what happens to us. That in life, we have a role and that we must play that role to our best ability. Therefore a man, according to Marcus Aurelius “should welcome every experience the looms of fate may weave for him.”

But we shouldn’t be fatalistic of the future, rather we should be only fatalistic about the past and present.

Take for instance a mother with a sick child. She should do everything in her power to nurture her child back to health. But if the child may die, or live on disabled, she shouldn’t get stuck in ‘what if’ scenarios. She should let go of the past.

 

Present Fatalism

We can decide where we want to be in a minute, hour or day, not right now. We can’t change where we are at this very moment. Therefore we should accept this moment (and the past) and be satisfied with what it brings. We can either spend this moment wishing it could be different, or we can embrace this moment.

If we think fatalistically about the past and present, we also refuse to think about how it could be better. By doing this a Stoic will make the present situation also more enjoyable. There are no alternative pasts, and you can be very happy/tranquil with what life has brought you so far.

Meditations (Book Review)

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

Lessons learnt: Our thoughts & opinions shape our world(view). You have the power of your own mind, not outside events. If you look closely enough, there is tremendous strength inside you.

Writing for only himself, Meditations is a personal book that reflects the thought processes of one of Rome’s greatest Emperors. There are a million life-lessons hidden in the text and filler nonsense did not make the cut. Meditations is a non-chronological compilation of Marcus Aurelius‘ life. This book is interesting for everyone interested in philosophy, ethics, or more specifically, stoicism. Get ready to set aside your ego, control your emotions and shape the world around you (by moulding yourself).

It is difficult to review a book like Meditations, the chapters have no names, there is little use of examples and the language is somewhat complex. Each chapter describes another theme, and here is a short description of the one in chapter 3 (according to my interpretation). The third chapter presents you with lessons on how to use your mental capacities. The bottom line states: every day you get closer to your death, so do not waste your (mental) capacities. Do not get lost in the battles of others, do not lie or deceive and do nothing against your own will. Be cheerful and help others, but never lose yourself (Eminem reference?). Be intent and pursue things that are righteous – nothing more, nothing less.

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” – Marcus Aurelius

I have decided to keep this review very short. Meditations is a book that you should read once, study twice and look back to many more times. Around the web, you can find many quotes taken from Meditations and I reckon that this is one of the best ways to respect and remember his writing. For the Stoics among us (see A Guide to the Good Life) this book gives a good peek into the mind of Marcus Aurelius.

More on Meditations

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditations – Wiki on Meditations

https://librivox.org/the-meditations-of-marcus-aurelius/ – Librivox audiobook of Meditations

http://www.philaletheians.co.uk/Study%20notes/Living%20the%20Life/Marcus%20Aurelius’%20Meditations%20-%20tr.%20Casaubon.pdf – .pdf of Meditations