Back

Yes& General

Marketing Has Never Felt This Good

Jonah Malin

You know this ad. You’ve seen it thousands of times. A good-looking group of thirty-somethings are laughing on a glowing beach.  A product is nonchalantly placed in sight –– usually a beverage or piece of equipment. But you don’t really care so much about the product. You want to be as happy as these characters.   

Here’s the problem. These aren’t normal people. In these aspirational ads, characters live in luxurious homes with fast cars. Their friends and family are stunning. And that’s the whole point.   

The goal of the ad (and the brand behind the ad…and the agency behind the brand…) is to make a viewer aspire to be like them. They want you to believe that by purchasing something, you can achieve a certain social status.  

While aspirational marketing has been a popular tactic for decades, the sparkle of it is beginning to tarnish. Between updates on war, economic collapse, and a global pandemic, people are mentally exhausted. They’ve seen your tired, fluffy message before

Brands don’t have to abandon their traditional approach completely. Instead, they can embrace a new wave consumers crave: affirmational marketing. 

Take Halo Top’s massively successful “Stop Shoulding Yourself” campaign, which asks a question we’ve all wondered when eating dessert:  Should I?  

Instead of inadvertently shaming viewers, Halo Top’s message focuses on body positivity and taking the stress out of something you should enjoy.  

“There are a lot of “shoulds,” or pressures, that come with choosing wellness. Whether you reach for a pint or pop, Halo Top is here to take the pressure out of indulging in a sweet treat, empowering dessert fans to enjoy what they love – not because they should, but because it feels good. 

So, next time you begin crafting a marketing message for a campaign, consider this: Younger generations understand marketing in a different way than their parents. They can sniff out an inauthentic piece of media. It’s going to become harder and harder to sell them on a fantasy.  

Why not pitch a slice of reality? Give them affirmational marketing. Solve a real problem or point of anxiety. Use everyday people (associations, this could be your members). Don’t sugarcoat your message. Make them feel good.  

In return, you won’t get one-off purchasers like everyone else. You’ll get advocates.  

Yes& is the Washington, DC-based marketing agency that brings commercial, association, and government clients the unlimited power of “&” – using a full suite of branding, digital, event, marketing, public relations, and creative capabilities to deliver meaningful and measurable results.

Let’s talk about what the power of "&" can do for you.

Jonah Malin
Jonah Malin
Content Strategist & Writer

More Insights

You might also like these articles. Sign up for our monthly newsletter for updates, insights and general tomfoolery.

SUBSCRIBE

Yes& General

Yes&

Yes& was named the winner of a Gold Stevie® Award in the Marketing Campaign of the Year Government/Institutional/Recruitment category in The 20th Annual American Business Awards® for work done on the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) “Keep Home” campaign. The American Business Awards are the U.S.A.’s premier business awards program. All organizations operating in the U.S.A. are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word meaning “crowned,” the awards will be presented to winners at a gala ceremony at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York on Monday, June 13. Tickets are now on sale. More than 3,700 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Startup of the Year, Executive of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Marketing Campaign of the Year, Thought Leader of the Year, and App of the Year, among others. Yes& Agency was nominated in the Government/Institutional/Recruitment category for Marketing Campaign of the Year. The Yes& winning campaign supports FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, which faced the dilemma of marketing a product most people have already decided they do not need. Hurricanes are bigger, broader and more predictable every year. With the risk of flooding in many communities, many consumers still bet against mother nature instead of protecting themselves financially against flood damage. To launch FEMA’s new campaign, Yes& deployed an integrated, multi-channel campaign targeting consumers, insurance agents, and community stakeholders in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, New York City, and Atlanta through video, audio, digital advertising, radio, social media, search ads, and a unique digital destination.

Yes& General

Yes&

Yes& is proud to announce several new partnerships with academic institutions and organizations across the United States. Awarded these contracts through several competitive evaluations, Yes&'s experience in academic institution branding, applicant journey mapping, and .edu website development will support them in attracting a new generation of students and improve the branded visitor online and in-person experience.

Yes& General

Alexandra LaCroix

Launching a higher education website is hard work—in part, because of the vast number of people it needs to support. When designing a refreshed digital presence for a higher education institution, there are various audiences to consider, from the staff spanning departments to students and alumni, and the prospective students and families who may be exploring options. Each audience has a unique interest in the website focused on their individual intentions and needs. The work P’unk Avenue (now part of Yes&) accomplished with Daytona State College’s website is a prime example of how taking a student-centric approach to your website can address the needs of a shifting audience in the higher education space. Anthony Robinson, Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy for Yes&, has years of experience serving clients, particularly in Higher Ed and was a pivotal player on the Daytona website redesign project. “When working with an institute that has a strong continuing education program, it’s crucial that the messaging focuses not solely on prospective high-school graduate students and considers all prospect students. Whether that is people looking for certification courses or parents returning to continue their education, it requires hard work to truly understand your audience and be conscious of the people who are actually partaking in your university’s courses,” Anthony explained. Daytona State College has provided some of the most accessible and affordable academic programs in the South and the state of Florida for the past 60 years, with a long history as a college credit, adult education, and vocational school. They have an authentic story to tell about their approach to “finding your path.”

Yes& General

Lara Mandell

It’s simple, really. To ensure your company's success, you want to hire and retain the best people. The clients will quickly follow. Upcoming college graduations offer one of the best ways to build a solid talent pipeline from the bottom up. Companies have the opportunity to hire high potential college interns and recent graduates who provide new and fresh ideas that will help the company grow and improve. By partnering with colleges, companies can inspire the next generation of professionals while staying engaged and up to date on marketing trends. Bringing in college students allows companies to develop early talent that can become the next leaders of their organizations. At Yes&, we are constantly looking for new talent—and some of the most innovative ideas come from our Yes&terns. We continuously strive to deliver the best quality of work for our clients and look for team members who are both skilled and passionate about the work. Our internship program is selective, pulling from top area marketing programs. Our Yes&ternship program allows interns to get a glimpse of what working at a marketing agency is like—so that before they accept an entry level role, they know it is the right fit for them. The program is structured so that interns spend equal time learning and working. The program offers internship classes where students have the opportunity to learn from employees throughout the agency, participate in a course of study, and contribute their ideas to different projects. The ultimate goal of the program is to provide interns with an experience that encourages them to want to work for Yes& after they graduate. At the end of the program, interns have the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned at Yes& or talk about a significant project. By going back and reflecting on what they have done during their time at Yes&, interns have the chance to understand what they have learned during their time at the agency. Not only are these presentations one of our interns’ favorite parts of the program, but they are also exciting for their mentors and executive committee to witness.