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Shouldn't Rational Advertising Affect the 'Smart Consumer'?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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There have been plenty of articles, white papers, short videos, and interviews about how smart this latest batch of consumers seems to be. They have more access to information, data, and news than any other consumers before them. They can scan the marketplace and match their wants and needs “exactly” with the goods and services that are being offered.

It is exclaimed that these consumers cannot be swayed by superficial advertising and marketing ploys and gimmicks. These consumers must be won on a more cohesive, content-based marketing campaign.

They’re the Content Consumers.

If the consumer demands content and information in order to be won over, shouldn't the rational and logical appeals in message strategy that advertisers have traditionally shunned be more palatable? It stands to reason that the emotional, "pulling-at-the-heart-strings" kind of advertising may be going by the wayside, right?


Before we switch totally to the "Content is King" philosophy, we must examine if consumers are truly using the information to, in turn, become more informed consumers. The premise of a rational messaging campaign can stand only if the consumer is honestly seeking and effectively using the information put out by brands.

Do you think the premise can stand?

In the general consumer market, we doubt it.

There is so much information out there that we highly doubt that consumers can read and digest all of the information available. Also, we must think about how the consumer, when overwhelmed with information, will resort to their defaults — decisions based on previous experience, advice from friends, and referrals — rather than expend energy to make the best decision.

No, though content is a crucial element in today's marketing environment, emotionally charged ads and campaigns are still relevant. At least for now.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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