When catering to those less than fabulously rich, TRENDWATCHING.COM recommends infusing consumer advertising with a pinch of sympathy that acknowledges the tougher times most consumers are currently experiencing.

SYMPVERTISING works well with both commodities and luxury services: the latter can be promoted as small indulgences to ‘ease the pain’ (see 'PROSPERITY GAP' in our November 2002 newsletter), while commodities can appeal to a need for savings and discounts. New York institution Gray’s Papaya advertises with a ‘Recession Special’ (2 franks and 1 drink for $1.95) in its brightly coloured stores, thereby nicely catering to the concerns of their customers. >> Email this trend to a friend.


JUNE 2003 | SYMPVERTISING is about marketing campaigns infused with a pinch of sympathy in times of economic uncertainty.

Well, who would have thought even big financial institutions would join this trend?

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We spotted a three-page ad for American Express' Financial Advisors (the three pages definitely made it easier to spot!), claiming that there's one economy you CAN be optimistic about. And they obviously weren't referring to the US economy, EU markets or to Japanese macro-economic trends. No, this ad is all about 'Managing the Economy that means most: YOURS.' Single-parent economies and second-career folks are given the extra consideration they deserve.

And whether or not you have the cash and assets to really be of interest to an AMEX advisor, at least this corporation acknowledges that we're not exactly living in the roaring nineties anymore. More at: http://www.americanexpress.com/myeconomy

May we suggest that other financial, automotive, and electronics giants follow suit and show consumers that they understand times are more insecure?