Every once in a while comes a piece of advertising that makes consumers look at advertising with a certain degree of respect and seriousness. In an industry that lives on thin slivers of truth and a large dollop of hype, this is a major happening. A collection of global corporations came together and released an ad that is driven by facts and seeks political action.
This week a leading global news magazine put the President of US on cover, but was it really the cover? Was the world taken for a ride?
Closer home, a news channel after a massive launch and popular campaign has seen interest waning and has now started to get trolled for being loud and boorish.
The ad across America that matters
How often would Adobe, Apple, Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Danfoss, Dignity Health, Facebook, Gap, Inc. Google, The Hartford, Hewlett Packard, Enterprise, Ingersoll Rand, Intel Corporation, Johnson Controls, Levi Strauss & Co. Mars Incorporated, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, National Grid, PG&E Corporation, Royal DSM, Salesforce, Schneider Electric, Tiffany & Co. Unilever and VF Corporation come together for a common cause?
All these giant corporations joined hands with the Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions to keep America in the Paris Agreement for Climate Change. The pitch from these companies to the President to keep US in the Paris Agreement for Climate Change is sharp and precise. The appeal is very US-focused and that makes common cause with President Trump’s slogan of Making America Great. Advertising for a cause like this doesn't need complicated execution; it needs to be honest and earnest. And it needs certain boldness to stand out, to be heard. Released as full-page ads across the most popular newspapers, they did create a stir.
Apple has now gone ahead and pledged a Billion Dollars in Green Bonds. The bond will allow the company to finance projects such as wind and solar power plants, energy-efficient buildings, and new approaches to using recycled materials. World leaders came together through the Paris Agreement to work towards bringing global temperatures down by 2 degrees. US now wants to walk away from it. The largest US corporations have taken opposing public position. The largest corporation taking a contra view to the political powers is something we haven’t seen ever in India.
The magazine cover that never was
“Americans begin facing the task of living under the Liar in Chief” proclaimed the cover of Time Magazine with President Trump on cover and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the backdrop. The cover became the global rage, almost everyone shared the image on their Twitter handle. Most people wondered how Time could do a cover like this in the early days of Trump’s Presidency.
The only issue here is that the cover is a fake. Time never created a cover like this. Their cover for the magazine does have Trump on cover, but not the person, his namesake Hotel.
This is the new reality of the world. There is a twitter handle that goes by the name LiarInChief. The epidemic of manufactured news that is circulated by verified handles is something that is destroying reputations. May be the social media can be called Liar in Chief.
News channel where brand appeal is not what it delivers
Arnab launched Republic with a high impact, high rhetoric campaign positioning himself as the conscious keeper of the nation. His appeal of “I am Coming” was to make it sound as if every politician is trembling with fear. The brands’ delivery of the news though was not what the campaign made it sound. Republic has become the example of brand overpromise and underwhelming product delivery. Brands that live on current opinions and events, and brands that promise to be the watchdog have a hard task to deliver. Republic is suffering for that reason today.
Taking up a cause and making it a part of business is not easy. Commerce almost always triumphs the greater goodness. For once the corporations in America are doing something different.
(Naresh Gupta is Managing Partner and CSO of Bang in the Middle.)
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of BestMediaInfo.com and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)