Media Coverage

February 25th, 2020

Ad Age — How to be Topical in an Election Year Without Getting Burned

Ad Age — How to be Topical in an Election Year Without Getting Burned


Jessica Wohl

Ad Age

“Known for humorous ads, Seventh Generation recently got serious, running a spot about climate change after Donald Trump’s latest State of the Union speech. The reaction was about as divided as the country. “I’m not too happy with Seventh Generation now,” one person told ad-scoring firm Ace Metrix, calling it “too political for me.” Another said, “I loved the message. It’s nice to see a brand actually care about climate change.”

The responses encapsulate the challenge brands face this election year. Studies suggest consumers will reward brands that take a stand and promote their values. But that is easier said than done, considering the political fault lines that exist in the Trump era. “Nobody’s trying to put out an ad that’s going to piss off half of the population unless you’re a political candidate,” says Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix, whose company tests every TV ad with a group of 500 viewers selected to track the country’s geographic and demographic composition. “I would expect brands to be pretty cautious.”

Of course, there is more pressure than ever for brands to be topical and, as the election nears, it will be on the top of everyone’s mind. Here are tips on how to enter the political fray without losing consumer support.”

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