Let’s be honest with you guys - we are a bunch of outsiders. The team at Graffiti started out with no background in the communication or agency business. One of the co-founders is a serial entrepreneur with the last successful business of events and the other was a corporate banker. Hence, the story of Graffiti always tends to fascinate people who walk in.
Of course, our story has evolved, as has the story telling. We were not always an agency which spoke about communication with a conscience - but we have for long spoken about love. Now how do these things fit in? Let’s go back a few years into long discussions about our purpose.
We are not sure if the absence of purpose bothers you. It bothered us. We couldn’t just be another agency on the block. What were we doing that others weren’t? The answer to it lies in the make of our core team - the people we are. We are people who care. We are people who believe in the universe and its magic. We are good people who are not in this rat race for the money. Our lives need to have more meaning and footprint than that. Having a fancy car or international holidays was not what we wanted to sum up our lives to be.
We also didn’t want to be the people who do a mindless job during the day and find salvation through volunteering over the weekend. That’s just cheating yourself, your time and your entire life. Why could we not have purpose in the work that we do? And that is how our purpose was born.
Communication in today’s day and age is extremely powerful. As the media goes from physical to digital, as artificial intelligence becomes a part of our DNA, we are bombarded with content and information. Whatever we read, even with our goldfish attention spans, gets retained sub-consciously. And that becomes a part of our behaviour later.
Once you have understood this, look around you and see the information being received by you. Newspapers have developed the uncanny skill of picking up the smallest and most inconsequential bad news from everywhere to paint a picture of doomsday. News channels are full of mindless debates by uneducated, uninformed bozos about ridiculously unintelligent topics. Social media is full of sensational news about which celebrity wore what to which previously unknown event. If you really go beyond the surface of social media, you will perhaps find gems of information - but who has the time for that today? It’s a scroll and miss generation.
Now look at advertising and sales being done to you. Have you really come across ads which make you feel good? The basis of advertising and communication is to make you feel ‘less’ and create the need for a product which will complete you. Look, as long as there is consumption, things need to be sold. However, how you sell it makes a lot of difference.
This is where lies our purpose. Can we change the way communication works? Can we use the immense power of communication to influence positive change and behaviour amongst people who interact with it? Can we make them feel better about themselves and the world they live in? Can we make them care enough to do something to make the world a better place? In the words of Barrack Obama - Yes, we can!
It has become a fad to put out one overly adrenaline or emotionally charged Women’s Day video to empower women. But it takes more than one video to help change the landscape of communication today. It needs persistent positivity and beauty. It needs us to steer clear from selling shit. It needs us to stop scaring people into buying things. It needs to stop making people feel like they are not good enough! It needs to stop turning them into a dumb, unthinking generation. It needs to stop feeding into their dark, cynical, negative sides.
Agencies, content platforms, content makers, publishers, curators, brand ambassadors, et all need to develop a conscience. They need to use their power of influence to change lives, for the better. How different is selling fairness cream from selling drugs? Fairness cream says you won’t achieve squat in your life if you don’t use this cream. It is your confidence booster. Last we know, cocaine was sold the same way!
Put some love and positivity out there - and it will heal the world in ways you can’t currently imagine. You don’t have to be able to do everything - just inspire and empower people with your words and visuals, and our collective conscience will guide us through.
Balance needs to be restored in the force. And we hope we won’t be the last jedis here. We hope to inspire the jedis within people and the communication industry to treat their jobs with the responsibility it commands.