No, Sir, I am Not A Drug Addict

Here we go again. I have found a collection (good luck searching) of some of the coolest Coca-Cola ads from all over the world. These ads range from billboards, to print ads, to even ad that cover the side of buildings. And for those of you international readers out there, you know exactly what I am talking about. While spending this past summer in Europe, and having spent many months over there in previous years, I understand the importance of advertisements. They plaster these things all over the place. They are on every inch of every building and whether it is the newest and hottest camera on the market or the latest Pixar flick from the States, you can not go a city block and not see if everywhere.

These ads were cool enough to get me thinking about a few things. The main thing that got my attention was coming right back to the recession. Confused as how build boards can affect the economy? Well, let me tell you.

With the sudden state of the economy (which is really not that sudden, we have been doing this to ourselves for years) we are hit with some major decisions to make. The first being where to spend our hard earned extra dollars. So when it comes to that idea, from a business stand point, where do these extra dollars go? Well, I can tell you where they do not go. Every company that I know of, in my personal experience, that has been hit by this economy, from golf courses to graphic design firms to restaurants, are cutting their budgets. They lay off people, they cut back on spending, and they try to cut corners anywhere and everywhere they can. (I was at O’Charley’s this past week and they are cutting back to much that when they bring the famed butter rolls to the table, you get one per person. And you have to ask for them to begin with. Yeah, silly stuff over there at the potato soup shop.)

But the biggest cut, and sometimes all across the board, is in advertising and promotions. They cut funding for TV spots, for radio ads, and print material. They cut spending for their web presence and even their internal marketing. But the only question that I can think of is why. Why in the world would a company suffering from low income cut their spending on getting their message, product, and gold mine to the general public. If you owned a business, let’s say a golf course, and you wanted more people to play your course, what is the first thing you think of to get people to know about your course? You advertise. Duh!

But the biggest thing that gets to me is that the companies that are not suffering, or are and just have enough capital to not show it, like Google, Coke, Comcast (the list is truly endless) are not cutting their advertising budgets at all. In fact, they are increasing due to the cut backs from everyone else. Look at these Coke ads for example. They are current ads, not of years past. They have not gone as far as Pepsi with a re branding, but I would not count it past them in the next five years to do just that. They have such a capture on the market they don’t need to. They are so saturated and have so many people addicted to this carbonated soda that they do not need to cut back on anything.

Anyway, I will jump down from my soap box. But just take a look at the places and companies that are cutting down on advertising all around you. It is happening. And notice all the stores that are closing. If our “wonderful” government does not do something about it soon (and I do not mean continue spending money to “bail us out” we will end up becoming what I like to call a third world country. You may laugh at that, but a good friend of mine, Mr. Adam Kramer, agrees with me. Give this five years at the pace we are on now and you will not only be happy to have a job (we have hit the record low unemployment rate coming in at just over 8% nationwide) that you will be happy to afford anything. Mark my words, unless this HOPE and CHANGE that has come to office happens soon, you are going to have to HOPE to be able to CHANGE your underwear in fear of not being able to afford clean pair of panties.

I’m still thirsty. Can someone grab me a Fanta. (That is a Coke product you know.)