TV ads speak directly to consumers' economic anxiety

Jan 30, 2024
Advertisers are using people not having enough money for some things — college, a house — to encourage them to spend on other things — chicken wings, anybody?
A screenshot from a recent SoFi ad, where a comically large backpack represents a bride's student loan debt.

Why Google is phasing out tracking cookies

Jan 5, 2024
These cookies follow you around the internet — a major privacy issue, advocates say. But getting rid of them won't get rid of targeted ads.
Google will roll out a set of new tools that still track your behavior online — so we'll still be getting those targeted ads.
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COVID-19 economy wanes along with pandemic's urgency

Oct 17, 2023
Makers of vaccines, tests and even protective gear are struggling to adjust to slackening demand.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which supplied key products in the battle against the coronavirus, has seen a dramatic reversal of fortune.
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Fewer Americans want brands to take a stand on controversial issues

Oct 10, 2023
A recent Bentley-Gallup survey says 41% of Americans think businesses should take a public stance on current events. That’s down from 48% just a year ago. What happened?
Maybe we don’t care what our toothpaste says about us. But we do care about what our shoes say as we walk through the world in them. Above, a 2018 Nike advertisement featuring quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
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Ads on social media are exceptionally good at getting us to click "buy"

"In the past, we've studied social media ads as if they're just like a billboard or a print magazine ad when they're not," said advertising professor Matthew Pittman. "You're seeing an ad from any number of sources."
On Instagram or in other social media feeds, "you're seeing an ad from any number of sources right after you might see a video or a post from your ex from high school or a new celebrity training fitness routine," said the University of Tennessee's Matthew Pittman.
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What's in store with this year's Super Bowl commercials?

Feb 10, 2023
Expect brands to team up for ads, and a special surprise from Blockbuster.
Super Bowl LVII signage in Phoenix, Arizona. This year's commercials will likely make little to light reference to stressful economic conditions face by many Americans, says Ad Age editor Jeanine Poggi.
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As inflation hangs over the holidays, advertisers target feelings over products

Dec 22, 2022
Instead of displaying abundance of materials, ads are leaning into things like family time.
Some advertisers have shifted their focus away from the material this holiday season.
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For public good, not for profit.

How advertisers approached inflation in the 1970s, and how they approach it today

Jul 27, 2022
When inflation raged decades ago, some marketers saw it as an opportunity. Now, the money-saving pitch is more subtle.
"Stagflation" plagued the economy of the late 1970s and early '80s. Some marketers saw it as an opportunity to pitch brands as pocketbook friendly. Above, New York's Times Square in 1979.
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Streaming services are embracing cheaper, ad-supported tiers

Apr 19, 2022
Netflix has held out, in part because it fears damaging relationships with subscribers, one expert ways.
While other streaming platforms offer subscriptions with ads, Netflix has been holding out. People in the United Kingdom are canceling subscription services amid inflation fears.
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Are there marketing opportunities in inflation?

Jan 7, 2022
One fast food business says rising grocery prices give it a reason to focus ads on cost.
Instead of shying away from the words "inflation" in the '70s, Campbell Soup chose to use it a corny ad campaign.
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