Industry initiatives show progress despite tough times

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As painful and befuddling as it has been to watch, hear and read, it was impossible to ignore the mountain of bad-to-worse news coming out of Washington and Wall Street last week re­garding the financial crisis and proposed economic bailout.

It was heartening, then, to turn away from the front page headlines and focus on marketing and technology initiatives which prove there are still plenty of folks working hard to formulate new ideas and strategies with the goal of getting real results – as opposed to just making risky deals with the goal of bigger payouts and a skyrocketing stock market.

For example, whether or not it becomes a real competitor to the iPhone, Google's new G1 cell phone, which is the first featuring the company's Android software, is an exciting step towards complete Web access for cell phone users, further expanding mobile marketing possibilities.

And between the OMMA Expo two weeks ago and Ad­vertising Week last week, I was pleased to witness discourse between industry leaders, on topics ranging from social media and ad networks to brand awareness and online video.

I was particularly inspired by a luncheon held in honor of the US Fund for UNICEF and their innovative cause marketing programs including the Tap Project and Pampers' “One Pack = One Vaccine” cause marketing programs, both of which were as comprehensive, strategic, inspiring and successful as any commercial marketing campaign you'll find anywhere. And UNICEF announced the launch of a new campaign to debut this fall called “Believe in Zero.” The integrated cam­paign mixes print and online advertising, grassroots activities and PSA's, to build awareness of the 25,000 children that die daily – UNICEF believes that number should be zero. It seems poised to send a confident, clear and uncompromising message to the American public.

I hope we'll see the same kind of real results from Washing­ton and Wall Street sometime very soon.

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