Should Brands Talk Politics?

Consumers don’t like it when brands take political or social positions, yet they want brands to become more socially active and responsible.

The disconnect was revealed in a recent study, entitled “Brands, Agencies and Political Values,” sponsored by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, or “4A’s.”

I wonder if the fluid idea of “brand” has caused the appearance of conflict where there is none.

Since brands aren’t things, it’s impossible for brands to do things; the vague concept of Pepsi didn’t come up with the idea to hire Kylie to teach the world to cringe. Marketers, and their clients, make decisions intended to influence people, then pay for campaigns that are marketing content, by definition. People know this.

So asking consumers how they feel about them means they could be thinking about specific ads or social media posts, or simply referencing their own feelings. They could also be using the terms “brand” and “business” indiscriminately, or differently in different answers.

Maybe they don’t like marketers using politics or causes to sell them stuff?

Read the entire essay at Linkedin