Recession advertising advice: Change ads, don’t cut them.

By Alyssa Williams, Biz Reporter

Daniel Reese, partner and media relations specialist of the Portland advertising company The AD Agency, believes advertising, even in an economic crisis, is crucial to the success of a business. The first impulse for many businesses in financial trouble is to cut marketing, he said. However, he suggested it is more effective to modify your message instead of cutting it altogether.

“If you believe in advertising in a good economy, you should believe in advertising in a bad economy,” said Reese. “You just need to change the advertising with the times.”

The media relations expert argued it is a prime opportunity to market in a soft economy. Less advertising due to expense cuts means less information overload in the market place and increased chances of particular messages reaching the public.

There will always be discretionary money to spend, he stated. Your message needs to emphasis “incredible deals” and the low pricing due to the poor economy.

“Families still want to get that gift for that kid, that doesn’t change,” said Reese about consumer buying in the current economic environment.

The recent Black Friday Weekend results support Reese’s claim. According to the National Retail Federation, more than 172 million shoppers visited stores and web sites this last three-day weekend, up from 147 million shoppers last year. Consumers also spent an average 7.2 percent more, from $372.57 this weekend compared to $347.55 in 2007.

Reese predicts consumer confidence just needs to boost in order to turn the market. “The resilience of the American spirit, American dream, and American ingenuity – we always end up landing on our feet,” he said. “We just need to be reminded of that.”

– Alyssa Williams

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