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For Context: Advertising during a recession

Video produced by Chris Brooklier, Damian Fowler, Tim Bumatay,
Cassie Crosby, Kat Vesce, Stephanie, Paterik, Tehillah Fouche
Video edited by Patrick Ng and Louis Hamwey

Fears of a recession are bubbling up in business conversations today as the economy slows and people grow cautious about spending. So, what’s an advertiser to do at a time like this? With several U.S. depressions in the rear-view mirror, it’s helpful to look back at how brands approached their marketing during tough economic times in the past.

In the first episode of our new video series For Context — which dives into the history of advertising for insights you can use today — we break down advertising in a recession, from Coca-Cola during the Great Depression to Clorox during the coronavirus pandemic.

Recessions have provided the opportunity for savvy advertisers to gain market share and look into building their brand long term. After all, every recession ends — on average within 17 months. Recessions can also inspire new ways of messaging, setting trends that last for years to come.