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Gotcha! (We Know How You Feel)
By: Brian Keller
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Have you ever walked around and spied someone coming at you? Have you realized that that person, even if you stopped to make room, was going to run into you anyway?  Either they haven’t seen you as they can’t see you because you don’t exist. It happens all the time and people wonder why. Here’s why. No empathy. People have lost the ability to put themselves in the shoes of the other he or she.
Agencies and Advertisers are correcting the empathy shortfall. They are teaching a lonely planet to feel again, and that’s why we now have, spread over much media, a plethora of “we get you” advertising.
“He doesn't look a thing like Jesus
But he talks like a gentleman”  - “When you were Young “ - Justin Currie
Addidas, Wendy’s, Audi, Ford, Mazda, McDonald's and, more have jumped into the understanding pool, and they have a leader. Beginning in May of 2018 Wells Fargo committed to a new campaign.
We surmise that Wells Fargo CMO Jamie Moldafsky, in meetings with BBDO (San Francisco), laid out the image problems Wells Fargo was having due to a compendium of small oversights, such as:

1.  Defrauding of 570,000 clients in a car insurance scam. (The bank estimates that as many as 20,00 of those clients had their cars repossessed as a result of their inability to pay for the illegal car insurance dictated by the bank.
2.  Illegally repossessing vehicles owned by military personnel.
3.  Charging late fees to more than 100,000 borrowers, even though the delays were the bank’s fault.
4.  Selling customer (branches in California) information, including Social Security Numbers, to identity thieves.
There is and was more and we would guess that CMO Moldafsky asked for a plan.  And, we would guess an empathetic and highly placed BBDO (San Francisco) officer gave a thumbs up and a reassuring… “Gotcha, we empathize with the American public and all Wells Fargo customers and we realize that a few small mistakes can lead overreaction. We will get you on a new track. We’re sure you’re not creating fake accounts anymore, either. Let’s get to work.” The work created was and, as of last week, is
Wells Fargo Established 1852. Reestablished 2018 with a recommitment to you.”
* We didn’t research to see if the agency or CMO (WF) are still in position.
 “Yes, I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is to see you”  -  “Positively 4th Street” -Bob Dylan
Advertisers and agencies have realized that people will run into you if you don’t move out of the way and they know that most of us, to avoid a collision, move out of the way. Aware of this, they have decided to understand and relate to you to give you the chance to make your life better with their client’s banks, fast food, shoes, skincare, automobiles and other products.
We would point out some of our favorites below:
  1. Kendall Jenner is solving many race issues with Pepsi.
  2.  Mazda knows you feel dead inside and are on some mood elevators and stabilizers, so they urge you to buy a Mazda and “feel alive.”
  3. Apple exhibits wonderful real people in “Get Behind a Mac” campaign and hints that you’ll be successful and creative and incredibly attractive, and perhaps have numerous stylists to do you up. The get behind a Mac campaign is more disingenuous than most as it comes from a company once great.
  4. We love our fish. They even get it wrong in the UK, sometimes. A conversation between a widow and her son (TV) encompasses the love of McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwiches shared by both son and his deceased father.
  5. And, of course, there’s the US Department of Education who tweeted a W.E.B. Du Bois quote with his name misspelled. That caused a fury. But hold on, there’s more to this.  The spelling mistake was just that, a mistake. We’d bet the farm that Mr. Du Bois would have no problem with a typo but would have a major problem with the use of his words to prop up an ineffectual government institution. The decision to use the quote on Twitter was the idiocy that showed no knowledge of the man himself. We are so lacking in empathy that we get mad at typos but not a misguided thought process.
The problem in advertising is a problem in society, and smart advertisers are hip to it. The list, like the beat, goes on.

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About the Author
Brian Keller is the Creative Director at teeny agency in Baltimore. He graduated from the University of Maryland (English), went to grad school at NYU (Cinema Studies), & attends University of Baltimore School of Law.

Brian's been working primarily in the digital space for years but enjoys all communications avenues.

He has built the creative departments at two agencies.

He likes skateboarding with his son. He also falls off his skateboard and amuses his son. When not amusing his son or riding bikes or playing basketball or working he writes for Beyond Madison Avenue & that's why Beyond Madison Avenue appears twice in this sentence.

Find him online here and at www.teenyagency.com.
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