The DOW Chemical TV and internet ad campaign about “The Human Element” always strikes me as odd, though I think in some ways fits with my Dad’s excellent notion that advertising often talks about a company’s weaknesses as if they were strengths. Using people and faces in an attempt to get across the point that DOW is about people, not chemicals and technology, backfires for me and gets me wondering “what are they trying to hide here?”.
Maybe it’s a generational thing as I always make the Vietnam era “Dow = napalm” reference which in turn leads to the world famous photo of a Vietnamese girl burned by napalm.
DOW can hardly lay much claim to moral, people focused “high ground” but I also don’t buy into the narrow vision of corporations as heartless. Somewhat like people, a corporation is a curious blend of innovation, competition, selfishness, profiteering, good will and more. I believe corporations are as much a reflection of the forces that built that particular company (the “corporate culture”) than subject to standard rule sets. This suggests that DOW may be a bit off with their version of the old Coca Cola campaign about the world singing together. In fact it kinds of creeps me out like the people in invasion of the body snatchers – is anybody even SMILING in those commercials?