by Jonathan Marshall
It isn’t a coincidence that more and more companies are using the state of our economy as themes in their advertising campaigns, even if the product or service is completely unrelated. The idea of using recognizable current events in advertising is certainly not new, and it has always been effective. It’s a pretty fail-safe strategy that is sure to make a connection and develop something in common with readers who might have previously been oblivious to your brand. This tactic makes people feel like these companies understand them and their situation, whether they are in support, or making light of it.
All State responded early with their “Back to Basics” spot that aired in January of this year. It references 1931 – “not a great year to start a business, but that’s when All State opened it’s doors. And throughout the 12 recessions since, they have noticed that after the fear subsides, people start enjoying the small things in life.” It emphasizes re-evaluating your priorities, protecting the time with loved ones and appreciating the things we do have. No doubt these words are very similar to what Americans repeat to themselves at night so they can go to sleep. It works.
Timberland chose the second option and poked fun at our national banks. People see this ad, and they are immediately familiar with the tone and language because it sounds like the conversations they are having on a daily basis. It connects because it is happening right now, and it is in everyone’s mind all the time. It’s obvious and relevant. It works.