Get Woke, Gain Earned Media Coverage

Get woke go broke, rhymes. It is, however, a stupid criticism nearly every time I’ve heard it applied to a company’s advertising. The exceptions are when the criticism of wokeness is a criticism of the messaging and placement. Or when a company is truly ideologically motivated, but the latter is rare. In almost every example of ad people call “woke,” the business has no company-wide ideology. People at companies have ideologies and may push a firm toward their morality. But Disney or Procter & Gamble are too large and complex as organizations, having too many moving parts to be truly ideological. When a publicly traded company, with a board of directors and many layers of executives, does something, it’s generally smoothed into whatever the decision-makers believe benefits them. Their incentives are aligned with the company making money to pay out shareholder dividends. Charitably this is an imperfect system, but it also means any perceived ideology, woke or otherwise, is a hollow commitment. Target Pride Month is June. For the last few years that means each June, Target will greet everyone with a display for cardboard rainbows holding forth gay apparel, fa la la la, la la, la la. Target has LGBTQ+ employees and allies up and down the org chart. But the pride displays are because the items sell at a profit. It’s a sign of cultural acceptance that the LGBTQ+ market segments are so far out of the closet they can be openly catered to by a company that…Get Woke, Gain Earned Media Coverage

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