at the intersection of brands, media and culture

Obama Controversy Proves There is No Local Marketing Anymore

In advertising, Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy on April 13, 2008 at 11:31 pm


jesus & walther

Originally uploaded by chaos & career

Much ado is being made by national media about local marketing as of late. First it was Absolut’s campaign in Mexico that depicted the country owning half of America ‘in an Absolut world.’ National media (okay, Fox News) decried it as an assault on our sovereignty and folks started calling for a boycott of the brand all the while missing the point that no one really wants to live in Fresno and we might just want to give it back.

Then came the Obama fracas about how bitter Americans turn to guns and religion and rant about foreign trade deals. And despite his likely correctness on the issue, it isn’t something that one would want to come out and say as Pennsylvania and Indiana gear up for their primaries. Unless of course you were in San Francisco giving a campaign fundraising speech that was closed to the media. Because in San Francisco people are likely to agree with you.

Both of these cases point to the new difficulties of local marketing and delivering messages based upon segmented consumer sentiment. In the local markets where both those messages ran, it signaled clear strategic intent to align with the feelings of the market. But when those messages become national, or global as they are tending to do, they wreak havoc. This is especially relevant for advertisers who use digital media and broadcast to the “world wide” web.

Answers are short on how to move forward. Alienating national audiences is a road to disaster and but marketers (conventional and political) can’t ignore the need to connect to local constituencies in relevant ways. For local brands, creating controversy can be a way to get noticed following a strategy of “who cares that people are talking about you as long as they are talking” since local brands tend to suffer most from lack of awareness. For substantial brands like Absolut and Obama, more care needs to be paid to how local messages will play out in the national media… since as of late there is no such thing as local anymore.

  1. […] UN The Ultimate Resource on the Internet wrote an interesting post today on Obama Controversy Proves There is No Local Marketing AnymoreHere’s a quick excerptNational media (ok Fox News) decried it as an assault on our sovereignty and folks started calling for a boycott of the brand despite missing… […]

  2. Why do blog aggregators never bother to cite the right author? This I ask today. I really do like the occasional comment and link up the same way a dog likes a bone but aggregators make me sad.

  3. The Planning Director at Chiat/Day calls this UIE (Unintentional International Exposure)

    – Griffin

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