<mobbdo> Hi everyone, are there any special
<mobbdo> Perhaps it will help if I introduce myself.
My name is Marie Putorti and I'm a Trend Analyst at BBDO
<mobbdo> My primary responsibility here is to act as
an early warning system for our clients and partners all over
<mobbdo> I do this by studying the marketplace
in terms of major changes, and in close observation of various
<rengelt> Marie, do you see the events of 9/11 having
an effect globally or primarily in New York?
<rengelt> If so, what sort of effects?
<mobbdo> I believe that the 9/11 effect is and will
continue to be felt globally, and distance will act as a modifier...
with the further away one is being the determinant of the
impact of the disaster.
<rengelt> A ripple effect of sorts?
<rengelt> As it pertains to advertising, do you see
clients spending more/less/same in terms of budget dollars?
<mobbdo> The effects are quite clear right now in terms
of emphasis on self and family and job security.... on financial
concerns and concerns for our safety. I don't believe that
we will continue with the 'sky is falling' syndrome for a
great deal longer, but I do believe the economic concerns
and even fears of the individual will disappear any too soon.
<mobbdo> I think that initially everyone is pulling
back, but that as in previous economic crises, it becomes
obvious soon enough that spending levels should remain the
same if not actually increasing. Sort of to make up for lost
time, and to avoid being overrun in the marketplace.
<stefanie> Speaking from a Canadian perspective, I can
say that there is a global impact. It seems to be felt quite
<rengelt> Do you see anyone (or certain sectors) attempting
to take advantage of the situation or is this still a time
for "respect and mourning"?
<mobbdo> That's hard .... there will always be individuals,
companies, etc., who will play the cards they're dealt to
their best advantage. But we have been told, or rather implored,
to continue with our lives as 'usual' and so, returning to
our capitalist nature is really not anti-respect and mourning,
but rather it can be looked at as continuing on....
<stefanie> Sorry, phone call interruption. How do you
see this effecting client / agency relationships? i.e. Will
there be more client input to protect sensitivities?
<mobbdo> Stefanie - I really don't know the answer to
this... each of our clients is always aware of the message
being sent out, I don't think this is going to change and
I believe also, that their trust of the agency is still in
<stefanie> Good to hear. The change in messaging that
occurred in respect to 9/11 saw quite a shift from more "liberal"
youth-oriented to more "conservative" assurance-oriented.
Do you see this swinging all the way back eventually?
<mobbdo> The pendulum never swings back all the way.
We return to more conservative and traditional values after
each swing to more liberal values, but the return trip never
goes full scale. What often happens is that the value's themselves
are altered. So that if we go back to 'tradition' it is a
new manifestation of tradition.
<mobbdo> In the early 90s we saw a return to 'traditional
values' family becoming more important... however, looked
at closer, the very definition of family had radically changed
from that definition in the 50s.
<mobbdo> Generation Y is our youngest cohort to date.
The 9/11 event will most certainly affect their view of life
in the future.
<mobbdo> Do you know any teens who are overly affected
<rengelt> In what way do you suppose they'd be affected?
<stefanie> Good point. This was quite an abrupt change
though. Do you think we will take baby steps back?
<shannon> What type of information do you analyze before
advising your clients and worldwide companies of changing
<mobbdo> Shannon -- now for your question. I am constantly
reviewing consumer and trade publications, primary research
done by our company, syndicated research which we purchase
or which is published, and through personal observation. Together
these sources provide the basis of my observations.
<mobbdo> Stefanie - I really don't know. This one --
this event -- is so out of the realm of my experience (I was
too young for Pearl Harbor)... I think we all were... so here
only time will tell.
<stefanie> Again good point. I guess the only fair question
to ask is how you are currently advising your clients on their
<mobbdo> As I said before Stefanie, it's really an individual
by individual case study, with the circumstances different
for every product and service category.
<mobbdo> Would anyone like to touch on how the 9/11
incident has affected their lives, especially in terms of
<mobbdo> financial ambitions, future plans, etc.
<mobbdo> An observation I would like to share while
waiting for your next question.
<mobbdo> I was in a shopping mall this weekend.... it
was crowded, noisy, and for the most part cheerful. What does
that say to you?
<aef_man> The show must go on.
<stefanie> The spirit is resilient.
<mobbdo> My take on it -- I think we're all trying really
hard to get back what we lost on 9/11
<stefanie> regaining ownership?
<mobbdo> I think you're both right -- what choice do
<mobbdo> I like that regaining ownership stefanie -
Ii think you're right.
<linda> What trends do you see for the Millenials (ages
<mobbdo> The trends for 6-12 are difficult to predict
right now. To date they have been a very protected, and secure
group. Probably our most secure cohort since the baby boom
- after all their parents are boomers. And I think that the
next couple of
<mobbdo> months, to six months, to a year, will be needed
to determine the level of stress these young people will eventually
<ndavis361> Based on your research, do you think there
will be a long term behavioral change for US travel? Or is
what we are seeing only a temporary effect?
<stefanie> They will take their reaction from the Baby
Boomers, no? So how do you think they are reacting?
<mobbdo> If the stress level remains high, we will probably
see a reenactment of the boomer parent generation who grew
up with bomb shelters and early warning systems, and in-school
exercises on what to do when the bomb comes.
<sharon> I am logging on late, so you might have already
covered this topic, but how do you think 9/11 has affected
college students...another "protected & sheltered"
group until this event took place?
<mobbdo> n davis -- I think we're traveling a lot, and
that as soon as the whistle blows (mentally an all clear whistle)
we will hit the road again.
<ndavis361> any thoughts on how long that might take?
<mobbdo> I think older boomers are reacting cautiously...
but you have to remember this is the group that changed the
<mobbdo> still believe it's all about them, and they're
worried about their retirement, about child care, about funding
education, about long term medical health care, etc. etc.,
but they're still going to go out and buy that new ......
<mobbdo> n davis - I have no idea.... it will most likely
take a few more months with no disasters....
<mobbdo> Sharon: I can't help but think back to the
Vietnam protests.... the campuses were in an uproar. I'm not
seeing much of that right now.... I think that until something
like a draft comes along, students for the most part are protected
and sheltered, and you know what, I think that is as it should
be.... you are our future.
<mobbdo> How do you feel about it?
<mobbdo> Some other concerns right now that are being
talked about in the press
<mobbdo> The - is this all there is syndrome.
<mobbdo> People, especially older people, are beginning
to look more seriously at their lives, their jobs, etc., and
<mobbdo> each in light of our new lack of security,
<mobbdo> Many are thinking of shifting careers.
<mobbdo> Churches are becoming more crowded
<stefanie> I've seen an increase in the mention of quarter-live
crises as well. Do you think Advertising is an instigator
of this disillusionment?
<stefanie> or a salve?
<Shannon> A friend of mine told me that at her school
there was an antiwar poster asking, Why should we fight Afghanistan?
Someone wrote on the poster, "Because my grandfather
died in those towers..." I am actually a recent grad,
just moved to New York, south of the WTC, and when I couldn't
get home for almost two weeks, it was my connections to the
University of California, Santa Cruz that gave me options
of places to stay... The events have definitely changed me,
<mobbdo> Stefanie - I don't think advertising instigates
disillusionment. It does give us the information we need to
<rengelt> How does advertising give us the info to fight
<mobbdo> Thank you Shannon.... the events have changed
a lot of us and your comment reinforces my observations of
another trend which is a community revival. Individuals are
reaching out more to friends and family, but also showing
new concerns for those in their 'communities' and community
can be neighborhoods, peer groups, etc.
<mobbdo> Rengelt: Advertising provides information about
products, about services, about the companies we deal with,
about current events, etc. Information comes from a lot of
places, I'm not saying it only comes from advertising, but
advertising certainly provides plenty of information to enable
us to make rational decisions and I believe rationale will
always displace disillusionment.
<rengelt> This question is on consumer spending trends
and how they've been effected. We've all seen the patriotic
trends as of late, but is there any sense you get on how "the
industry" as a whole is trying to position advertising
to create a consumer willingness to spend again?
<mobbdo> Look at the advertising being done for New
York. It's fabulous.... I work on sixth avenue, we're overrun
by tourists.... they're happy being in New York... advertising
probably got them here.
<mobbdo> Consumers are cautious about spending to some
degree. They're spending more on small rewards and things
to make life fun and easier, and worth living... and maybe
postponing certain larger expenditures, where possible, for
the short term. There is a fear out there, and well justified,
that the economy is in crisis... more than that, white collar
America is seeing layoffs, and benefit cuts, and vacation
curbs, etc.... and advertising as well as government.
<stefanie> Is this why promotions, and promotional events
are so prevalent right now? i.e. 0% financing...
<rengelt> But advertising is about selling an idealized
image; the advertising for New York is selling the energy,
lifestyle, excitement of New York -- not the information/rationality
of oh it's safe to go back, which subway lines are running.
Disillusionment comes when the image that advertising is selling
is not realized.
<mobbdo> Yep - you're right... but I don't believe there
is any disillusionment in the New York lifestyle right now....
<stefanie> How do consumers see it? Do they blame advertising
for their not comparing? Do they look to advertising as a
means of achieving more?
<mobbdo> We're all a little put out when we see armed
guards at the midtown tunnel, but New York is still a wonderful
town... and the ads don't tell us it's safe... when was it
<stefanie> good point!
<mobbdo> Stefanie - I only see advertising as a means
to understanding. When we see products, within lifestyles,
if that's a lifestyle we aspire too... we've just been given
the map on how to get there. I believe that information is
the most powerful tool in the consumer's hands, and our industry
<mobbdo> yes it's made pretty, and I don't think for
one minute that the consumer would stop to learn what the
ad is teaching, if it weren't.
<stefanie> But aren't consumers becoming more wary...
asking more questions?
<mobbdo> Have been for many years...
<mobbdo> You know - consumers are in the marketplace
seeking value. Value has come to mean what's in it for me.
<stefanie> How does the influx of information at their
fingertips change the way advertising talks to consumers?
<mobbdo> They can learn how the product suits their
lives, their needs, etc., only through advertising, or actual
ownership of the product or use of the service.
<mobbdo> Stefanie -- it keeps us honest!
<stefanie> Thank you Marie. This has been quite enlightening.
<mobbdo> Thank you - it has been really fun to share
with you guys!
<moderator> Thank you everyone for joining today's discussion.
Please come again.
Content Master, aef.com