I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–no doubt to the consternation of people who know me far too well–advertising is a confidence game. Not a con game, certainly not, but a game that runs almost exclusively on confidence.
The confidence that our ideas merit the investment. The confidence that opinion can be swayed. And the confidence that in the end, spending the money beats saving the money.
The only problem is that today, we finally copped to the reality that the United States of America is in a recession. And we have been since last December, which goes a long way toward explaining why 2008 has been such a bust of a year. In a recession, you can’t expect clients to display much confidence. And so the cycle intensifies. My biggest visual impression over the recent Thanksgiving break was of car dealerships packed with inventory: definitely not a sign of confidence.
Fear is an ugly, hateful, contagious thing. For the sake of our industry, we all need to swallow hard, look forward, and picture a brighter future. If we work for it, we will create it. And in the process, help ourselves out of this tough spot.