• “It all adds up to a ... $500,000,000,0005 OPPORTUNITY RIGHT NOW...because this staggering sum should be spent immediately just to meet current actual needs.” Man, in just 24 pages, I think they used the world “billions” more than Carl Sagan. Below is another pair of pages from “The Future of America” booklet. An interesting note (but certainly not a surprise) is that all 33 people pictured in the booklet are caucasian. And, even with that, none of the caucasians have the slightest touch of ethnicity to them. The good news is that, by 1971, McCann Erickson had properly recognized how to exploit the power of feel-good multiculturalism in advertising, as that was when the advertising agency introduced CocaCola’s “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)” hilltop commercial to the masses.
The Ad Below Reads: “Literally everything must grow faster and faster to keep us with the fantastic snowballing population growth ahead. Business today faces an outlay of hundreds of billions of dollars just to modernize plants and replace worn out or outmoded machines. Future population growth will call for even greater investments—a dramatic challenge and opportunity that can mean good times ahead for everybody! It takes energy just to keep up… This tremendous backlog of needs that must be met does not even include the billions that the electrical industry needs to invest. Demand for electrical energy is expected to increase 250% by 1975. Employees in this industry by the hundreds of thousands can be kept busy just trying to keep up with this need for growth.” Footnotes 1. McCann Erickson, now McCann Worldgroup, was formed in 1930 by the merger of advertising companies run by Alfred Erickson and Harry McCann. Among its other advertising campaigns: MasterCard’s “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard” and the Rice-a-Roni jingle. 2. I was wincing as I typed that excerpt. And not just because I’m in agreement with some of James Howard Kunstler’s writings. 3. Are we sensing a trend? 4. Here’s a week’s worth of sobering reading: Lists of nuclear disasters and radioactive incidents. Or, if you read just one, check out “Nuclear and radiation accidents.” 5. That’s $500 billion, if you don’t wish to count the zeroes.
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