In 1990, when the Soviet Union collapsed, Cuba's economy went into a tailspin. Import of oil dropped by more than 50% - and that of food by 80%!
Cubans got desperate. But they soon got smart - and came up with a highly decentralised way to tackle the shortages. They grew their food everywhere they could - in backyards, on terraces and rooftops. In cities, towns and villages, people got together and came up with extremely low-tech solutions for problems.
The above video shows largely what finally took shape.
Now fast forward to 2011.
One of these days, it may be oil prices or hyper-inflation that spirals out of control, and leave people across the world with two options of how to react...
ONE WAY is the Cuban experience. It involves communities closing ranks, sticking their hands into the earth, and trying to help themselves by farming their way out of hunger.
THERE IS ANOTHER WAY.
The North Koreans were just as dependent on the Soviet Union, economically. But in early 1990s, the Koreans decided to wait for the central government to interve and come to the rescue.
And between 900,000 and 3.5 million people out of a population of about 22 million died from starvation and hunger-related illnesses!
Go on, watch the film. It's about 41 minutes long... But what we can learn from it could perhaps one day, give us back a lot more than just 41 minutes.
It's often called the world's second oldest profession.
But while the scope of the oldest one has changed little over time, the evolution in the way we communicate has had profound impact on Advertising.
In the ancient and medieval world, Advertising meant word-of-mouth. In the 1500s with the development of printing it became a 'paid public notice', disseminating the message to many. And it had Copy & Art.
Then came radio, TV, computer, cable TV, Internet, mobile phones, Internet on mobile, and it's still not done... Even what we perceive as 'change' is changing. Continuously.
So what is Advertising today?
Honestly, I don't know.
But I do know from a dozen years evolving with the business, that Advertising is most valued when it can make a tangible difference for the advertiser.
That has not changed. And probably won't.
UPDATE: Nothing's changed. But in a way, everything has. As you see, my focus has shifted - evolved in a way - to a larger canvas. The shift or evolution was gradual, and may be have been discernable to the more observant reader.
While I was delving into the influence of media in society to better understand how perceptions are created, evolved and disseminated, I chanced upon a thread of knowledge that I frankly never knew existed.
My conclusion is that a deep pool of awareness and consciouness exists beyond the shallow narcissistic boundaries created by the convention view of social media and the Internet.
My aim is to send my readers down any path that can lead to this quenching pool.