When Serious Issues are Co-opted for Marketing


It’s interesting to see how Verizon (a US telco*) have picked on a topical (and worthy) issue and co-opted it for their own marketing**. And gets positive press about it from the likes of HuffPo.

A little while ago I would have been really cynical about these kinds of ads that basically take ‘serious issue’ topics and manipulate them into feel good, positive-by-association messaging for companies. But since we know that a large percentage of consumers actually believe numbers and stats in advertising are in fact real, this kind of ad is actually good from an awareness point of view. The danger though is that others will dismiss the topic, purely because it is being presented by a manipulative advertising campaign…

I’d love to see what Russel and Todd would say about this if The Gruen Transfer was still going.

* Telcos, as an industry are generally disliked by consumers – see this ACSI report (especially p14, note: need to fill in a form to access it)

** It’s not a new approach by any means – just think of the Dove commercials

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