Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How To Woo Consumers In The Middle Of An Economic Firestorm-Part III

The Johnnie Walker Striding Man spot by the Bartle Bogle Hegarty agency.

Keep Inspiring
by Kevin McIntosh

In an earlier blog post last month, How To Woo Consumers In The Middle Of An Economic Firestorm, Part 1, I discussed the changes we're seeing in consumer behavior in the Post-Bailout Economy.

Between the threats of job loss, business loss and possibly home loss, consumers are stressed, anxious, scared and maybe even in some cases, hopeless. And while you find levels of these emotions in any economic climate, as my article cited, the signs are strong that those emotions are running higher than ever.

We are in the business of changing consumer perceptions. Is it possible that we can change their perceptions about the economy? Can we give them hope for the future?

The Johnnie Walker Striding Man spot by Bartle Bogle Hegarty seems to do just that. The spot reminds us of the hard-working spirit of people world-wide that has led to progress over the past 100 years. The greatest 100 years of progress in the history of mankind.

The original spot above broke earlier in the year, but I just saw it for the first time last month. And I believe it couldn't be more timely than right now.

The sepia-toned footage, mixed with a persistent music cadence suddenly made me think of the Depression Era and how hard it must have been.

But the spot moves through stories of progress, including early flight and the space walk, and concludes with "Who knows where a stride will take you?" Between the music and the powerful imagery, as I first watched the spot, my worries about the economy shifted into more positive thoughts.

More specifically, the spot made me realize, we're living in the present. We have no way of knowing what could happen tomorrow or next week. We can assume it will be the worst. Or we can contemplate the possibilities of the positive changes that might come about as a result of our current economic crisis. Changes like alternative energy development that could solve our problem of dependence on foreign countries for oil. Or innovations here in the U.S. which could revive our manufacturing sector.

A crisis such as what we're experiencing around the world can be scary. But the burning desire to persevere life's challenges can push us to become more innovative than ever.

In short, the Striding Man spot is a testament to the amazing power of the human will to conquer the impossible. We built a city as monumental as New York. We've walked on the moon. We went from the Great Depression to the Internet. All in less than 100 years. Which leaves me to think, "Wow, if we could do all of that, just imagine what we can achieve in the next 100 years."

For those of us in the business of brand advertising and marketing, it's an inspiring reminder of the power of emotional branding.


Kevin McIntosh is a freelance copywriter in the Nashville market. His work can be seen at www.KevinMcIntosh.com

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