Putting the can and can't in cantankerous
In our quest to be advertising pioneers, we always want to push that envelope, toe that line, blaze that trail, all while being truthful and honest in order to get our brand message across. So how taboo does content really need to be in order to get people talking, to raise eyebrows, and invoke change?
Marketers and creatives alike have found that being unapologetically honest - a perfect ingredient for being, and breaking, taboo - is not only good for change, but also good for business. It sells more products and creates a base of loyal brand advocates. More importantly, they get the conversation going about important, human topics such as menstruation, sexual activity, erectile dysfunction, and race that have otherwise been seen as inappropriate or just plain scary to talk about.
One could be forgiven, or at least, definitely understood, if they awoke in recent weeks from a 100 year coma and thought not a lot had changed.
It’s appalling that in 2019, especially February, which is the month we celebrate and honor black Americans for their culture, contributions, and creative endeavors, that the news has been smattered with story after story about blackface. From elected politicians to high-fashion sweaters, it seems as though we can’t flip on a news station or scroll through a news site without seeing a case of blackface.
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.
We’ve all had them. We dread them, yet sometimes they seem unavoidable. That’s right, we’re talking about unsavory clients. They come in all shapes and sizes - the CMO with way too many opinions, the brand manager with absolutely no opinions, and of course, the decision making executive that seems impossible to reach.
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.