Does it really matter how pretty the brochures are when you are starving?

So, I am in a quandary.
Unfortunately as often I go into communities with a mission of creating a brand/image/marketing message, I am faced with questions outside of my scope that I cannot ignore in good conscious. I heard an interesting line tonight that screams with what I am talking about, “If you put sprinkles on sh*t, it is still sh*t.”
At first the image is disgusting of course, but then as you think about how many things this applies to, it can be overwhelming. And as I am here, working to come up with a brand for Elm Street, a residential community revitalization program for the State of Pennsylvania, I am facing the fact that there are so many issues outside of my project scope and therefore seemingly outside of my control or ability to change and when I look at them, I don’t know if they are too big to let any project be successful, no matter how effective I make my marketing to be.
Think about this if it has ever happened to you: you had an extra hard workout at the gym, skipped breakfast because you were running late and by the time 11 am hits, your stomach is growling so hard that it actually makes one of your co-workers glance over at you. The growling only continues to get worse because you are in a client briefing that continues on without end until well past 2 pm without a single break. By the end of it, you do not care about goals or objectives or outcomes. You do not even care about how many calories are in the chicken salad croissant that is being passed to you by the meeting’s chosen caterer. All that you care about is filling that deep hunger that has been setting in for hours.
Now imagine you have that same hunger, but it has been that strong for three days and you haven’t eaten all of that time, because you are feeding your two kids and the money just doesn’t go far enough this time of the month to feed all three of you. You are THAT hungry. Now, being that hungry, if I come home to a door hanger advertisement about a block clean up, mind you a GORGEOUS EYE CATCHING advertisement about a block clean up, will I care? How can I when my basic need of hunger is not being met?


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