Shared Values Initiative


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A presentation over the article: Can Advertising Sell America?

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  • After the terrorists attacks of 9-11, some companies used the tragedy directly or indirectly to market their products.
  • General Motors launched the campaign, "Keep America Rolling," offering zero percent financing deals on new cars and trucks, andThe New York Sports Club encouraged New Yorkers to "Keep America Strong" by joining the gym.Recovery from tragedy came with a corporate sponsor and was endorsed by President Bush and Mayor Giuliani, who encouraged citizens to fight terror through shopping, to practice citizenship through consumerism.
  • Non-profits and civil rights groups got involved too. The Ad Council, for example, created PSAs like this to unify the nation across racial lines and inspire patriotism.
  • The Council on American-Islamic Relations ran campaigns after 9-11 too, to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protectcivil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitionsthat promote justice and mutual understanding.
  • And then the US government got involved.Advertising is persuasive communication used to change consumers’ attitudes, usually toward a product or brand.But can advertising be used to promote America internationally? In the wake of the 9-11 attacks and the anti-American sentiment in predominantly Muslim countries, Secretary of State Colin Powell thought so,and he decided to bring experts in persuasive communication to Washington to “brand” America and market American values to the world.
  • Colin Powell hired star advertising executive Charlotte Beers to head up public diplomacy at the US State Department.Beers is widely known as the only advertising executive, male or female, to serve as head of 2 of the top 10 ad agencies worldwide, Ogilvy and Mather and J. Walter Thompson.She was sworn in as the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs on Oct. 2, 2001, just weeks after the 9-11 attacks.
  • Staying true to her marketing past, Beers did extensive consumer research to uncover core belief systems based on personal values.She found 57 different values that exist throughout the world, and randomly selected citizens in various countries to rank them.The biggest differences between the United States and Muslim countries were between views of modesty, obedience, perseverance and freedom.The most significant agreement between the US and Muslim countries were among values of faith, family and education, so Beers focused her campaign on these common interests, or “Shared Values.”
  • Her most notable campaign was the Shared Values Initiative, which consisted of numerous communication techniques.Among these was a 60-page, full-color magazine titled Muslim Life in America.The campaign was produced in English and various Middle-Eastern languages and dialects including Arabic, Farsi and Urdu.The most visible component of the campaign was a series of 5 television commercials that the State Department called “mini-documentaries.”The commercials used a “slice-of-life” format that showed happy and prosperous American Muslims actively practicing their religion.
  • “Baker” profiles an average day in a bakery in Toledo, Ohio owned by a Lebanese family and highlights their interaction with a non-American Muslim clientele.“Doctor” showcases the accomplishments of Dr. Elias Zerhouni from Algeria, whom President George W. Bush named Director of National Institutes of Health. The commercial shows Dr. Zerhouni shaking hands with the president.“School Teacher” features a public school teacher wearing a hijab while teaching elementary school children.“Journalist” follows an Indonesian journalism student at the University of Missouri as she reports for the school’s newscast.And “Firefighter” focuses on 2 New York City employees, a firefighter who talks about his experience during 9-11 and a Muslim chaplain who explains how he meets the needs of people who work for the city.The end of each commercial features the line, “A message from The Council of American Muslims for Understanding” before fading into a second line, “And the American People.”
  • Here’s one of the mini-documentaries.
  • Started in Indonesia where 80 percent of its population is Muslim.Unfortunately, many Arab countries refused to run the spots because they were thought to be based on propaganda.Al Jazeera initially considered it an honor to accept US anti-terror messages, but later refused to air the sports. The State Department later said that Al Jazeera wanted too much money.State-run media systems and pan-Arab satellites reached Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia,Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates,Kenya and Tanzania.There is debate over whether the commercials were discontinued per the media flowcharts or because they failed to resonate with the Muslim audience, but US State Department spokesperson Richard Boucher said it was simply the end of the first phase. He said that only half of the $15 million budget had been spent, and the SVI is still in progress.
  • In an analysis by Patrick Lee Plaisance of Colorado State University years after the SVI, he questions the ethics of the Shared Values Initiative based on 10 qualifications.American ideology of universal egalitarianismPresented US as victims of 9-11 to combat misperceptions3-6. StatedSpecial techniques for emotional resonance:Message appears to be coming from within the target audience, use of universal symbols of power (Dr. Zerhouni at the podium, FDNY uniform, white children), and music in “Baker” to suggest integration.By these standards, the SVI is in fact propaganda. Jacques Ellul argues that propaganda is not a strategy, but an all-encompassing ethos of an information society preoccupied with efficiency.
  • State Department has never offered a definitive answer.Beers told CNN that the campaign would be successful if it started a dialogue about things which we have in common.The high campaign recall scores suggest that these objectives may have been accomplished.But members of Congress, the press, the ad industry and former diplomats consider SVI a failure and reject the idea that advertising professionals have a place in the State Department.
  • William Drake – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – quote references former clientColin Powell defended Beers: “She got me to buy Uncle Ben’s rice. And there’s nothing wrong with getting someone who knows how to sell something.”Margaret Carlson of TIME Magazine said, “Uncle Sam is harder to sell these days than Uncle Ben’s ever was.”2. PBS3. Malaysian newspaper4. Ad Age
  • Fullerton and Kendrick designed a pre-post test experiment to measure the campaign’s success.
  • In all samples, attitudes toward the US government were more positive. The change in attitude were found to be statistically significant.In Singapore, although not in London or Cairo, participants reported more positive attitudes toward US people.The campaign was most successful in changing people’s perceptions regarding Muslims’ lives in the US.Both women and Muslims had the most positive attitudes after viewing the SVI spots.These findings suggest that the commercials did in fact change attitudes among international audiences.
  • A series of surveys conducted by the nonprofit research organization Public Agenda identified public concerns that were reaching what they called the Tipping Point.Between mid-2005 and January 2006, the only public concern shown to be on the decline was concerns over US relations with the Muslim World.This provides further proof that the SVI could be working.
  • So is government advertising ethical? Do government-sponsored advertising campaigns violate citizens’rights to think and live as they please? Should the government be spending taxpayer money on advertising?This chart shows estimated spending by the executive branch on advertising services contracts over 10 years.The five agencies that spent the most on advertising in 2011 were the Dept. of Defense, Dept. of Health and Human Services, The Dept. of the Treasury, the Dept. of Transportation and the Dept. of Homeland Security.As you can see, spending has increased since the SVI, so it’s evident that the our leaders do see a place for advertising in government.
  • In all samples, attitudes toward the US government were more positive. The change in attitude were found to be statistically significant.In Singapore, although not in London or Cairo, participants reported more positive attitudes toward US people.The campaign was most successful in changing people’s perceptions regarding Muslims’ lives in the US.Both women and Muslims had the most positive attitudes after viewing the SVI spots.These findings suggest that the commercials did in fact change attitudes among international audiences.
  • Shared Values Initiative

    1. 1. Can advertising sell America? Winning Hearts and Minds in the Muslim By Jami Fullerton and Alice K Colin Parajon Contemporary Problems In American Advertising October 2012
    2. 2. Overview • Context •Shared Values Initiative • Execution • Effectiveness • Criticism • Position
    3. 3. contextSeptember 11, 2001
    4. 4. “I am an American”
    5. 5. “I am an American Muslim • Council on American- Islamic Relations • “To enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote
    6. 6. contextSeptember 11, 2001
    7. 7. Charlotte beers• Retired Head of Ogilvy and Mather and J. Walter Thompson• Hired by FormerSecretary of StateColin Powell• Sworn in October 2, 2001 as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
    8. 8. Shared valuesDifferences: Shared Values:• Modesty • Faith• Obedience • Family• Perseverance • Education• Freedom
    9. 9. • Speeches Shared • “Town Hall” Events • Internet Sites Values • Chat Rooms initiative •Muslim Life in America Goal: To cause • Newspaper Ads“discussion and debate.” • Mini-Documentarie
    10. 10. American Muslims for Understandin “A message from The Council of “Baker” And the American People.” • Lebanese Family-Run Bakery in Toled “doctor” • Algerian Government Official “School teacher” • Teacher Wearing Hijab “Journalist” • Indonesian Journalism Student “Firefighter” • Muslim Firefighter and Chaplain in NY
    11. 11. “Firefighter”
    12. 12. Execution• Schedule begins October 29, 2002 in Indonesia.• Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Jordan, EgyBahrain, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon and the United ArabKenya, Tanzania•Most Arab countries refuse to run spots.• Al Jazeera initially considered it “an honor” to accepanti-terror messages, but later refused to air the spot•Commercials discontinued in December 2002.
    13. 13. Propaganda?1. Ideology and purpose of the campaign2. Context in which it occurs3. Identification of propagandist4. Structure of propaganda organization5. Target audience6. Media utilization techniques7. Special techniques to maximize effect8. Audience reaction to techniques9. Counterpropaganda, if present10.Effects and evaluation
    14. 14. effectiveness• Did it work? No definitive answer.• 288 million people in Indonesia: - Scored higher on message recall and reten than commercials for “a typical soft drink ca run at higher spending levels for more mont• Congress, the press, the advertising industry adiplomats refer to SVI campaign as a failure.
    15. 15. criticism“The notion that you can sellUncle Sam like Uncle Ben’s is“Contributed to highly problematic.” anti-Americanism in the region.” “Waste of time.” “This is no job for commercials.”
    16. 16. Pre-post test Participants Participants again record record SVI attitudes attitudes spots toward US toward US are government,government, view US people US people ed. and how and how Muslims are Muslims are treated in thetreated in the US. US.
    17. 17. Results• Attitudes toward the US government were more• Singapore: Attitudes toward US people were m Greatest magnitude of difference: Attitudes about how Muslims are treated in the US were more positive.• Women and Muslims had most positive attitud
    18. 18. 2006 survey•“Tipping Point” – the moment at which a large portio begins to demand that the government address its• At “Tipping Point” – War in Iraq• Approaching “Tipping Point” – Outsourcing & Illegal• Moving Away from “Tipping Point” – US Relations w
    19. 19. position• The SVI was the first campaign of its kind, so little refor measuring its success.•Government officials expected something resemblin which could not be proven awareness campaigns.• The high recall rates and shift in attitudes toward the US people and treatment of Muslims in the US are SVI was a success.• Advertising is an effective course of diploma
    20. 20. Works citedAlsultany, E. (2007). Selling American diversity and Muslim American identity thr post 9-11. American Quarterly, 59(3), 593-622.Fullerton, J., & Kendrick, A. (2008). Can advertising sell America? Winning hear world. In T. Reichert (Ed.), Issues in American Advertising: Media, Society a (253-263). Chicago: Copy Workshop.Kosar, K.R. (2012). Advertising by the federal government: An overview. CongrePlaisance, P. L. (2005). The propaganda war on terrorism: An analysis of the Un public-diplomacy campaign after September 11, 2001. Journal of Mass MedUSA: US spokesman says media publicity campaign in Muslim world “successfu World Broadcasts.Yankelovich, D. (2006). The tipping points. Foreign Affairs, 85(3).