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In time of economic crisis, companies appeal to consumer anger May 17, 2009

Posted by admin in Uncategorized.
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An article recently appearing in The New York Times, written by Stuart Elliot, analyzed how some companies in America are using their new advertisements to appeal to the anger many Americans have about the current economic crisis. In Elliot’s words, Madison Avenue is “creating a spate of angry advertising campaigns that seek to channel the outrage, frustration and fear felt by consumers hit hard by what some are calling the Great Recession.” Two examples from the article include Post Shredded Wheat cereal which declares in new ads that “Progress is overrated,” and JetBlue Airways which is using new ad spots to poke fun at disgraced CEOs. For an interesting justification of these advertisements, see Post Shredded Wheat’s press release.

Sample advertisements from the two companies discussed above may be seen in the following clips:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why do you think advertisers have been reluctant in years past to channel the anger of consumers?

2.  Is this particular strategy trying to make viewers angry, or simply identify with their current feelings? What is the difference?

3.  With what what kind of demographic do you think this type of strategy works best?



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