Busting down barriers and breaking the rules may not work so well if you’re a doctor or lawyer. So welcome to the world of advertising and creative production, the perfect place for people who don’t care for or play by the rules. High quality, authenticity, and wickedly unorthodox content is achieved by pushing toward, and through, the edges of what has already come before.
Make no mistake: The 2020 presidential campaign, already kicking into gear, will take place in an unprecedented media and engagement marketing environment of in-your-face, unfiltered (and often cringe-worthy) immediacy. Political live-streaming as a communication tool could not only bestow authenticity to an otherwise stale and scripted primary process, but it may also result in digital-savvy candidates vaulting over everyone else.
Think Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, only with people who want to be the Leader of the Free World, poor lighting, and fewer laughs.
One Mad Hit Juice Box. V’Nilla Cookies & Milk. Whip’d Strawberry. Carnival Crunch. Twirly Pop. Could these be new ice cream flavors from Ben & Jerry’s? Or Kellogg cereals? Nope. They are flavors of E-Juice, also known as smoke juice or E-liquid, a nicotine-based liquid used in electronic cigarettes and personal vaporizers.
Les Moonves, the longtime CBS chairman and CEO, is out as the latest #MeToo casualty in the wake of sexual assault and abuse allegations detailed by The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow. Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Louis C.K., and Kevin Spacey - also gone, but not forgotten. As the list continues to grow, so does the outrage and price of keeping a sexual abuser on the payroll. Just consider the astoundingly low opening receipts of Spacey’s latest film release, Billionaire Boys Club: $126.00. Not $126 million, or thousand, but just 126 dollars. Less than the cost of a new pair of designer jeans. If you wondered how much Spacey (who denies the allegations) would suffer, you can now do the math.
The youngest crop of teenagers - known as Generation Z and born between 1996 and 2010 - represents perhaps one of the most complex and misunderstood customers in advertising history. A highly mobile, social media-fluent, and socially conscious generation of multitaskers, they are expected to account for 40% of all consumers by 2020 with the potential to wield billions in buying power, making them a larger and more diverse cohort than Baby Boomers or Millennials.
Summer was on sale again in May at Southwest Airlines, whose smiling pilots and flight attendants offered one-way fares as low as $49 as part of its annual, multi-platform "Transfarency" marketing campaign. For decades, Southwest Airlines led the nation’s domestic carriers as one of the most aggressive advertisers, with a $218MM advertising budget in 2015. Its front-facing public relations and brand strategy projected an image of the nation’s most consumer-friendly airline with a family-style employee culture. The investment paid off with good press and high returns.
Until it didn’t.
Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” remains a standout after more than 14 years. By deconstructing beauty norms at a time when few women considered themselves beautiful according to modern standards (in other words, skinny, young, and blemish-free), the personal care brand created what Ad Age considers the No. 1 campaign of the 21st century. A successful brand campaign such as this may look effortless, but it’s the product of skilled marketing expertise, good strategic judgement, and boundless creativity. But what about the campaigns that don’t meet these criteria?
Even as ethnic inequality, violence and racism (hello, Roseanne Barr!) continue to roil Ameria, the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice confronts a shameful era in our country’s past and provides a permanent place for reflection about the painful cost of treating people as less than human.
You can be forgiven for not knowing where exactly the U.S. stands on foreign trade on the day-to-day, with talk of everything from trade wars to truces. Yet the shifting economic climate poses a significant challenge to industries trying to market themselves at home and abroad - along with the creative agencies who support them.