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Monday, November 21, 2016

Mr Trump's victory has delivered a much needed shock to the advertising industry

There is a fascinating article in today's WSJ called Trump’s win spurs concerns that ad agencies are out of touch with consumers This is behind a paywall.

Here is the opening paragraph

Advertisers are grappling with a stark realization: After spending years courting U.S. consumers with aspirational images of upscale urban living, they may have misjudged the yearnings of much of their audience.

The CEO of McCann’s reckons: “So many marketing programs are oriented toward metro elite imagery. Marketing needs to reflect less of New York and Los Angeles culture and more of Des Moines and Scranton.”

An agency that works for General Mills Inc. and Coors Light reckons that a 'diversity hire' can be a farm girl from Indiana as much as a Cuban immigrant who lives in Pensacola. You can just picture the hotshots of the ad world deciding that they might have to venture into red-neck territory and perhaps even speak with some of the locals.

Whilst the ad industry is having a period of self introspection, it might also want to ask itself if it might not be another idea to be less obsessed with Millennials and a tad more with Boomers.

I don't for one instant think the winds of realism that are whistling around the industry will last for long. I am sure they will soon rationalise away Trump's victory and get back to doing what they like doing best - advertising to people that are just like them. Dick Stroud


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