Madison Avenue astonished to learn that Americans aren't all metrosexual, bi-coastal "global aspirationals". The media and Hollywood apparently still don't believe it, but that's because their ranks are entirely comprised of metrosexual, bi-coastal, global aspirational elites, and we all know how dumb those types are.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president with a wave of support from middle American voters, advertisers are reflecting on whether they are out of touch with the same people—rural, economically frustrated, elite-distrusting, anti-globalization voters—who propelled the businessman into the White House. Mr. Trump’s rise has them rethinking the way they collect data about consumers, recruit staff and pitch products.
Even as many ad agencies try to improve their gender and racial diversity, industry executives say they also need to ensure their U.S. employees come from varied socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds.
A diversity hire “can be a farm girl from Indiana as much as a Cuban immigrant who lives in Pensacola,” said John Boiler, chief executive of the agency 72andSunny, whose clients include General Mills Inc.and Coors Light. The agency plans to expand its university recruitment programs to include rural areas.
Meanwhile, some ad agencies are looking to hire more people from rural areas as they rethink the popular use of aspirational messaging showcasing a ritzy life on the two metropolitan coasts. One company is also weighing whether to open more local offices around the world, where the people who create ads are closer to the people who see them.
“The election will have spooked the liberal elite away from high concept, ‘make the world a better place’” advertising to “a more down-to-earth ‘tell me what you will do for me’ approach” said Robert Senior, worldwide chief executive of Saatchi & Saatchi, a creative firm owned by Publicis Groupe.
Mr. Senior said the change will likely manifest itself in less use of fantastical imagery and escapism and more real world and real people in ads.
Mr. Tripodi of Subway says marketers are too focused on aggregating people into broader groups and painting them with the same brush. He said global marketers such as Subway should try to do more local marketing and advertising that can better reflect the concerns of specific communities.
Mr. Diamond of McCann says the ad industry’s move to have regional hubs servicing large patches of the world is now out of sync with movements in many countries—the U.S., U.K., and China, for example—where citizens seem frustrated with aspirational globalism. He said McCann, which has offices in about 90 countries, had been moving toward more regional hubs. It now wants to beef up its local creative teams.