Ready to Stop Being Miserable? Marketers Sure Hope You Are

From an article in Advertising Age today:

Though there's still widespread disagreement of just when the industry will put the recession firmly behind it, one thing's clear: Whenever it happens, marketers had better be ready. Forward thinkers such as Allstate, Walmart, New Balance, Macy's, Procter & Gamble, McDonald's and Bank of America are already paving the way to recovery by spending on marketing and product innovation, cementing relationships with new consumers and rewarding loyalists who stuck by their brands during the bad times. They are also creating products and messaging that bridge from recession to recovery.

So, too, has Allstate, which is on the air with a spot, "The Great Recovery," which refers to the recession in past tense by asking viewers how they'll look back on it. "People are ready to stop being miserable," said CMO Mark LaNeve. He said the company is anticipating that consumers will be re-evaluating their finances and that Allstate is ramping up marketing activity behind discounts for multi-line purchases in order to take advantage of that. After trimming its ad budget last year, the company is plotting an "aggressive" increase for 2010.

It's always a tricky thing to time a change in messaging, kind of like trying to time the stock market - sometimes you get it right, but often you don't (even if you're an expert). I think Allstate is taking something of a risk with this new campaign, but the way they're going about it does leave some room for error, as they never suggest that the recession is actually over, just that we can all envision a time when it will be.

And since there is a great desire in people for the Great Recession to be over, marketers are well advised to tap into this sentiment. However, the way they go about it has to be genuine to avoid having the brand tagged as opportunistic. Once again, really good creative will make all the difference.


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