Advertisers Need to Talk About the Consumer, Not Themselves

Right now, the markets are in turmoil due to the instability in housing. So in the Advertising Section of today’s Issue of the New York Times, the lead article talks about brand marketers switching gears from easy-money themes to financial strength and stability.

Here’s an example from a New York Life print ad.

“Financial strength

And the highest rating
from all four major
rating agencies.”

Two senior brand-marketing executives from the Omnicom Group believed this move in the industry was “reactive” and “groveling.” But the most telling statement from one of them was that the advertisements were “self-indulgent” because they were talking about themselves instead of the customer.

Don Peppers, a professional direct marketer and founding partner of Peppers & Rogers, makes it even clearer. “The more self-interested you are, the less I’m willing to trust you.”

Do you agree with these statements? If so, what should the financial companies communicate?

Posted on September 19, 2007 and filed under Branding.