Putting the can and can't in cantankerous
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.