The Great Reckoning

August 18th, 2020

Adapting, Surviving & Thriving.

Decades from now when our great-grandchildren read about 2020 in the history books, will it be framed from the perspective of the pandemic’s health toll, the economic devastation, an awakening among whites about the debilitating impact of systemic racism on people of color, general civil unrest, divisive culture wars, extreme partisan politics, environmental concerns? Or will it be framed as the beginning of a new normal – a time that ushered in an era of corporate activism and an era of accountability culture? Or will it simply be heralded as the beginning of the Great Reckoning?

It certainly feels like we are in a momentous time that will have a historical impact and could change the course of the future. The weaknesses in our country and around the world have been laid bare for all to see and, hopefully, for us to confront and work to improve for future generations.

Individuals and businesses have been confronted with the brutal realities of situations that can no longer be ignored. In marketing, we’ve been seeing this accountability culture building for some time. We’ve seen consumers begin to demand more of businesses than just products and services. We’ve written in past issues of Thinking about the fact that no longer can businesses sit on the sidelines of social issues. They are being pushed to take a stand on issues by consumers. And to use their influence to push for change. 2020 is clearly escalating that trend.

It’s through that lens that we explore the issues to be aware of and consider within paid media. The old ways of deploying brand-safe strategies are changing, and we need to be able to quickly adapt to those changes. To survive and thrive.

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