One of the more obvious messages in the show was the attitude of competition. This was not just friendly competition, this was dog-eat-dog market warfare. The host talks of "preparing a guerrilla operation" as if going into battle. One of the advertising agents talks about the "fear in the agency business" and the players being "weakened and vulnerable". The tone is set and the message is that business is dead serious. They are not just selling soap; they are marketing high stakes business. In pursuing customers, they have discarded any pretense of the niceties of the fair deal. As one executive put it, "I am much more interested in how you feel than how you think". They are desperately trying to compete for your mind.
Getting to the consumer's feelings means portraying a relationship with their culture and becoming more acceptable. This was done in one case by changing the words "estate tax" to the emotionally unacceptable "death tax". Understanding the culture, and what makes it act, prompted one ad executive to "Find out why people join cults and apply that knowledge to brands". Frank Luntz, political ad guru, says nothing in his ads are about political substance. He says, "Everything in here has a relationship to pop culture". Getting to the culture, without mentioning the product, is the advertiser's vehicle to branding.
Getting the branding correct and ne