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People get their politics from brands according to JWT

It’s no doubt lazy to say that social media et al. is making idiots of us all. Trouble is it seems to be true.

A new report from J. Walter Thompson’s Innovation Group called The Political Consumer claims that consumers are becoming more politicised and expect brands to take sides. Why?

Admittedly the survey of 1000 or so consumers was carried out in the US and we all know how crazy this US presidential election is.

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Key findings from the report include:

Live video on social media comes second in importance as a source of political news for young people, 51 per cent for Generation Z and 56 per cent for millennials. OK, get that.

60 per cent of the public say they generally trust political content from brands on social media – far more than they trust online political content from celebrities (45 per cent) and politicians (41 per cent). But what political content exactly?

39 per cent of millennials say brands should play a larger role in politics, and 51 per cent say they appreciate it when brands take a political stance in their advertising.

Lucie Greene, Worldwide Director of the Innovation Group worldwide director Lucie Greene says: “In an atmosphere of extremes, we’re seeing a rising politicized consumer who is viewing the world in a new light through the lens of their personal circumstance and vocally questioning brands, institutions and platforms – propelled by social media, live video and digital platforms. ‘The Political Consumer’ charts this cultural shift, exploring the digital media sphere and how brands can navigate the political consumer landscape.”

The report follows another politics-related study from JWT and Forethought that found that political advertising – even those with positive messages – generate negative emotions in consumers.

Can’t believe that anyone in their right mind is going to vote for, say, Trump, just because P&G says so. Not that it does, of course. Do they mean brands taking a stance on social issues?

Like we said, we’re all…

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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