The Value of Value

Ogilvy Chairman Rory Sutherland has brilliant TED talk about, essentially, the value of value. More than a justification of advertising and marketing (and, I suppose, communication design), it is an argument for sustainability and democracy. He lays his argument out in about 15 minutes in which span he explains how child molesters can curtail climate change, how the Prussians rebranded the potato, and (my favorite) how Post successfully relaunched a cereal brand by changing absolutely nothing:


Here’s an excerpt which may as well serve as his thesis:

If you think about it, if you want to live in a world in the future where there are fewer material goods, you basically have two choices. You can either live in a world which is poorer, which people in general don’t like. Or you can live in a world where intangible value constitutes a greater part of overall value, that actually intangible value, in many ways is a very, very fine substitute for using up labor or limited resources in the creation of things.

Sutherland also has two other TED talks. One on the importance of detail and another on perspective. The latter is a bit meandering, but the other is quite good.