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“When the Gentiles, who have no knowledge of the Law, act in accordance with it by the light of nature, they show that they have a law in themselves, for they demonstrate the effect of a law operating in their own hearts. Their own consciences endorse the existence of such a law, for there is something which condemns or commends their actions.”
— Romans 2:14-15, J.B. Phillips New Testament
J.B. Phillips wrote a much-read paraphrase of the New Testament in mid-20th Century colloquial English. His paraphrase of this passage seems faithful to the underlying text and makes the point clearly, as a good paraphrase should. We see here the idea of a law encoded in the natural world, the world we all experience, whatever religious teachings we do or do not receive.
A hotel and a car commercial prompted thoughts about humans yearning for something more than fame and fortune, more than material comforts and the false sense of security attached to them. I noticed ads by Marriott and Hyundai on television screens recently, and thought perhaps they marked Madison Avenue responding to polling that showed a desire for an appeal to something positive and higher than our navels. A bit of research did not unearth any obvious white paper or trade paper tips, but these are major players in competitive industries.
A little digging showed that Marriott took this turn in 2017, so it might just be a surge of new ad placements. Hyundai, on further reflection, is taking some cues from the long success of Subaru’s ad campaigns. Poking a bit further, Allstate, in the hyper-competitive car and home insurance business, had a ad in 2013 without a trace of Mayhem:
“People live for good.” So said Allstate. Marriott, in co-branding and promoting four of the properties under their umbrella, proclaims “We live by the #Golden Rule.” A trade website, World Branding Forum, explained Marriott‘s corporate communications concept:
Though distinct in their own identity, the four make up the group’s classic select segment and represent more than a third of the properties in the Marriott 30-brand portfolio. Amidst a challenging travel environment, meanwhile, Four Points, Courtyard, Fairfield, and SpringHill celebrate humanity.
At the heart of the effort is Human, a 60-second spot that portrays the above sentiment as the guiding principle of each of the chain’s hotels both locally and worldwide. The concept draws its relevance from the fact that often, humanity is found to be lacking from today’s hospitality experience.
It was an ad in this line that recently caught my attention:
Oh, yes, I see the “progressive” visual cues here. And… Marriott, even its advertising team, understood that there is some power in appeals to “mankind” being better if “all men were kind.” Even now, at the intersection of the entertainment, hospitality, and business industries, there is some appreciation for the power of “the Golden Rule.”
Hyundai, in the fiercely competitive consumer automobile industry, went with “Better Drives Us” this year, proclaiming:
From safety to the shopping experience and everything in between, making things better for people is at the heart of everything we do. Because better is only better when you put people first.
Now, if you think you’ve seen bits of this commercial previously in a series of Subaru ads, you would be right. The ideas and images are road tested; they work. This commercial does not let you forget they want you to buy one of their cars, and gives you a series of reasons to do so. And. We are back to consideration of others. Buy their SUV because you care for your family.
And they invite you to “Share the Love.” Of course, they do seem a bit biased about dogs and cats:
What companies catch your eye with messages about basic goodness, not correctness but goodness?
OK, one more just because: