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Generation Z: Giving Ad Agencies a Makeover, Telling It Like It Is

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.  

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Southwest learns the hard way: For a brand with ‘heart’, quality matters, too.

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.

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9 Ad Campaign Fails from Years Past (and lessons learned along the way)

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?

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Trade Wars, Ad Campaigns, and Tackling Issues that Matter

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.  

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