Advertising as calling

Perhaps you remember the moment when advertising became a vocation in your mind. No longer just something to watch, but something to do. In that moment your artistic talent found a medium. Or maybe you discovered a connection between a product and your ability to persuade people.

However it happened, that moment had enough clarity to alter the direction of your life. I hate to admit it, but my moment occurred in the waning seconds of a Wal-mart commercial.

Three teenagers danced in various back-to-school outfits. They were confident, attractive, and center-stage. In the voice-over at the end, the lead actress said, "Everyone knows that if you don't keep up with the latest fashions, you're gonna get left behind."

I muted the TV and was haunted by the question, "What effect does this have on the kids who are left behind?" I knew who these girls would have been in my high school, as I'm sure you could name them in yours. And I know what kind of influence they had over the social stragglers.

I don't make ads, nor do I work for a marketing firm, but I care about those who do. It may be a stretch, but this care (via writing, speaking, visiting classrooms, etc.) is what I have considered my "calling" in the ad world for the past six years.

Advertising communicates ideas, but often in ways that fail to reflect the kingdom of God. In this blog, I hope to provide a few resources and a bit of encouragement as you pursue faithfulness as ad makers.

Stay tuned.


Jenson,  August 7, 2008 at 7:03 PM  


I'm so glad you connected with me and I'm excited to start reading your blog. I find the first post every interesting and am going to keep reading :)

Sam Van Eman August 7, 2008 at 10:06 PM  

Hey, great to hear from you. I hope you enjoy the readings. I'll be checking yours, too, to see what you're up to these days.


leader August 8, 2008 at 2:33 PM  

Is your family still in Erie?

Sam Van Eman August 8, 2008 at 8:14 PM  

Nope. We moved to the Harrisburg area four years ago. I still work for the CCO, although not on a campus anymore. This blog is one part of my job description. Wilderness trips and experiential education - what I did for most of my time at Gannon, as you know - is still part of my work, too.

How involved with advertising and marketing are you? And do you enjoy it?

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