Earth Day, Don Draper, and You

DC EarthDay Blog Post iPhone HomeThe origins of Earth Day are rooted in a terrific and familiar story: a person has a dream and changes the world with it.  The founder of the original Earth Day (45 years ago today) was Senator Gaylord Nelson. He left a legacy of political, ideological, and, of course, environmental change that has affected generations to come.

But that’s only half the story.

Earth Day is also a triumph of the power of marketing and branding. Enter Don Draper, and the Mad Men (and Women) of Advertising.

How do you get a movement? You need the idea, of course. But you also need a clear message. And that’s where Julian Koenig comes in. When he came up with the name “Earth Day,” he helped ensure that a great idea could live beyond its time.

Everybody knows that marketing is about selling a product or idea. But Koenig understood something more: marketing can be about aspiration, about hope.  Earth Day isn’t simply a day to think about recycling or the effects of pollution: it’s a day that reminds us that we can do better. We can BE better.

And that’s where you come in.

Where will you be in five years? How will you be a “better” you?

Interested in starting a movement?

How about a degree in Public Policy? Local, state, and federal policy very often gets started by those who work in the field.  Maybe you see yourself in Leadership.  Are there degree programs for that?  Um… have you tried clicking “Leadership” two sentences ago?  Do it.

Do you want to be an Ad Man (or Woman)?

Julian Koenig went to Dartmouth and Columbia, excellent schools to be sure. But, like Simon Sinek and his “Why” movement, Koenig had to learn the craft of how to tell a story. Does it surprise you that some advertising copywriters start in Communications and Creative Writing programs?  You might not have the same batting average as Koenig, but you swing at the same kind of pitches.

Do you want to cover the movements of our time?

Sarah Koenig, daughter of Julian, works in the media, most recently with her breakout hit Serial on NPR. How about a career in Broadcasting? Or maybe Radio, TV, or Film Production?  There are people spreading the word—you could get a degree in how to do it.

Are you a Tree Hugger?

Awesome.  Did you know that there are degrees in that?  Well, maybe not Tree Hugging, but how about Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, or Environmental Technology?  The world is your sustainably harvested oyster.

Some look to the future… and make a wish.  Some look to the future… for an adventure.

It’s 11:11 on Earth Day.  Time to discover your future.