Ask AdPulp: Navigating the Negativity

Welcome to the first installment of Ask AdPulp. The question came in anonymously and the answer here comes to us from a marketing veteran who wishes to remain anonymous. In the future, I’d like to spread the best incoming questions around to “Friends of AdPulp,” so we have a variety of voices adding value in this space.

Q. How can we ever get a balanced sense of what’s going on with the economy when news outlets only report the down side of the coin?

A. Buy a Berkshire Hathaway shareholders pass on eBay this spring (if you don’t want to buy a share of the stock) and go to the annual meeting in Omaha and listen to the solid, well thought out, old fashioned, expert advice from Warren Buffett. Don’t watch the news outlets more than once a week. Don’t check your investments more than once a year. The American economy is the best hope of the world and it’s on sale right now at unheard of low prices. Don’t follow the herds. Think for yourself. Go out into the economy and see what is really happening. 93% of the work force is still going to work, people are still buying groceries, filling their gas tanks and stopping at the mall for necessities and even dinner occasionally. Some are even buying well-built cars. Filter everything you hear from the talking heads through this lens. We’ve reverted back to a more sane sense of what we really need and what we can have immediately. Our parents and grandparents worked and saved for years to buy a house, more years to furnish it, and even more years to own one car, much less two. The era of plunking down your plastic and getting it all on day one is over. Knowing the difference between wants and needs might have just reemerged. And perhaps true corporate honesty will be forced back into the forefront as well. Remember that if you earn more than $12,500 a year you are more wealthy than 75% of the world. If you earn more than $46,000 you are more wealthy than 99% of the world. Granted, your 401K is not returning 20% a year right now but that was totally unrealistic and unsustainable and we all knew it. The US economy will survive and thrive. Like negativity, positive vibes are contagious too. Start spreading them and balancing out the constant barrage of bad news. If not us, then who?

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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.