To navigate the Trump-Biden transition, brand leaders should take the ‘Dinner Party Test’

by Jed Meyer, Managing Director, North America
Thursday, November 12, 2020

The elation in major American cities on Saturday after the Associated Press named Joe Biden the projected winner of the U.S. presidency would appear to signal a new era in tone and policy in Washington, D.C.

We asked over a dozen advertising and marketing executives what their priorities are right now as they prepare for a new regime in the White House. The short answer: Most plan to tread with some caution, but with a new purpose.

Through the weekend, most sources expressed varying degrees of personal relief and optimism at the prospect of President-elect Biden. (As of Wednesday afternoon, Biden had 279 electoral votes with 77.3 million popular votes to Trump’s 217 electoral votes/72.2 million total, according to the AP’s tally.)

Those positive feelings we heard from brand, agency, marketing and tech industry executives, however, remain leavened with professional wariness. Still, taking a pause to reflect in this dizzying climate is not feasible, sources generally admit. A sense of urgency and context is expected to carefully manage the ever-changing brand-consumer dynamic through the Jan. 20 inauguration.

Aside from weariness and strain related to the pandemic, leaders are struggling with lingering political bitterness and the impact on campaigns and marketing—and how civil strife will challenge their workforces and client relationships. 

Nevertheless, we did hear from leaders, from internal stakeholders as well brands and media services companies, about how they plan to craft and place messages to a public whose emotions will remain raw for the foreseeable future.

Fight 2020 Exhaustion By Helping Consumers Do The Same

Jed Meyer, said:

The fact that the election is moving toward being settled is a positive. Consumers can move past the intense run-up to 11/3 and move on to other topics—like celebrating the holiday season safely.

I anticipate a lot of brands will focus on “moving on” from all of 2020—with the pandemic, social unrest and election fissures.

Although plenty of challenges remain as we move into 2021, brands should emphasize inclusive, affirming themes, as consumers are exhausted and overwhelmed by 2020. Brands can offer solutions to help consumers cope with these unprecedented challenges and “turn the page” from some of the challenges they face in daily life.

 

To read the article in full, on AdWeek, click here.

First featured 11/11/2020. 

 

 

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