Truth in Advertising from Walz Tetrick: We Are So Not in a Post-Brand Era

By October 18, 2016Strategy

Oh how the prognosticators love to prognosticate. One of their favorite sports? Killing things.

Lately, the most gratifying declaration in this most gratifying of blood sports is to announce the end of an era. This week, that’s the end of an era of brands. Not to sound too much like a grumpy old man but, poppycock.

Brands are dead? Based on what? Coca-Cola’s brand value continuing to rise despite our culture’s movement to healthier beverages? When’s the last time you were in a restaurant and witnessed a Pepsi drinker being told they serve only Coke or the other way around?

If brands were dead, that waiter or waitress would serve someone a Pepsi even though they ordered that Coke.

If brands were dead, we’d all be driving Hyundais. Not to knock this brand, but if we all thought purely practically, we’d all be driving purely practically.

If brands were dead, we’d all have bags and not boxes of cereal in our cupboards. The bags are cheaper, right?

If brands were dead, I wouldn’t be charging my iPhone at my desk right now. I’ll admit it. There are better phones out there. I don’t want a better phone. I want my iPhone. I love Apple and the superior design along with the intuitive OS is the reason I have a charger at my desk, in my car and at my bedside.

If brands were dead, we’d all just move to Amish country and start churning butter.

The truth is, brands are alive and well. Just like TV is still alive and well. Just like Keith Richards will outlive us all. Some things don’t change.

This is not to reject change as a whole. Change is good. Digital marketing is remarkable. And Cage the Elephant is the band The Rolling Stones wished they were 20 — OK 35 — years ago.

No. Brands are not dead. Now the death of how brands are managed? Well. That is a whole different ball of boxed cereal.

From Mail Room Clerk to Creative Director, Nick has brought his creative thinking to clients ranging from Pepsi to Xbox to Union Pacific. His work has been recognized by the Clios, the Obies and Communication Arts. He now works with the talented folks at Walz Tetrick while judging the American Advertising Awards and speaking at industry events.