“Woke ads” are failing because they are trying to change people’s perceptions as opposed to trying to sell products, said Dr Bella d’Abrera of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA)
In an interview with Andrew Bolt on Tuesday night’s edition of The Bolt Report, the IPA’s Director of Foundations of Western Civilisation Program (featured image) said advertisements are no longer about selling products as opposed to attempting to “change people’s perception of reality and how they view the world”
“The advertising’s no longer about selling products; it’s no longer about selling clothes, or razors or chocolate bars – it’s about selling ideas, it’s about changing the way people think,” d’Abrera said.
The comments come after a recent K-Mart advertisement on popular youth video platform Tik-Tok which depicts a non-binary performer dancing and wearing different colourful dresses, as well as the recent Microsoft Ignite annual conference in which speakers introduced themselves with their race, pronouns, and descriptions of their physical appearance.
It also follows years of controversy and heavy online discourse surrounding politically charged advertisements, such as Gillette’s 2019 “The Best Men Can Be” campaign.
“The most popular ad that’s been on in Britain for the last five years is about a carrot named Kevin that keeps getting lost in the snow,” she said. “People aren’t buying things because [of] woke ads.”
According to the YouTube Ads Leaderboard the most popular YouTube ad in 2020 Australia’s pandemic-rife market was “Did Somebody Say MenuLog?” featuring Snoop Dogg. This was followed by the Samsung Galaxy Fold, and the Sportsbet Elite Average Games advertisements.
Conversely, according to a 2018 Edelmann Earned Brand Report nearly two-thirds of consumers believed brands should be more politically and socially active.
Furthermore, this year’s CMO Survey found an almost 50 per cent year-over-year increase in the number of marketers who believe brands should be more involved in politics and social causes.
It’s difficult to subjectively determine how effective “woke” ads are, but it goes without saying there’s a niche market for everything.
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