While the advertising industry focuses on the good, the bad, and the ugly of brand socio-political messaging, many national marketers are endeavoring to bridge audiences with anything but. What can we learn from apolitical brands sustaining consumer advocacy on both sides of the aisle?
Our industry celebrates brand involvement in socio-political issues. We reward social messaging with top media placements and creative awards, and we warn marketers that staying out of these discussions could translate to inauthenticity and alienation of certain audiences.
While for many brands picking sides may be the best course of action, (e.g., Starbucks) this is risky for brands that must maintain large national franchises, (Shell) or cannot be perceived as partisan, (the Marines). What can marketers learn from bridging brands like Shell and the Marines? Or, is everyone destined to pick a side in a time when the personal has become political and politics is sharply polarized?
presented in partnership with
Lieutenant Colonel John Caldwell
National Director of Marketing and Communication Strategy
United States Marine Corps
J. Walter Thompson Atlanta
Correspondent & Producer
Founder and CEO