Andrew Tenzer of Reach Solutions wrote a white paper titled The Empathy Delusion about how the advertising industry has lost touch with mainstream audiences.

“In 2017 our research showed how advertising had lost relevance with large swathes of the UK. This year, we’ve challenged marketing and advertising’s exceptionalism and the empathy delusion.”

“Targeting ourselves: In response to Gut Instinct, Mark Ritson wrote a column reminding the industry of the first rule of marketing – ‘you are not the customer’. The academic evidence and our own research continues to suggest that marketers and ad people find this a hard principle to live by.”

“Social virtue as a marketing strategy: This current marketing trend (commonly referred to as brand purpose) is highly seductive to our industry on a personal level.”

“People are cognitive misers. In the real world they simply don’t waste precious cognitive resources worrying about what a brand thinks or believes. But, the science shows that people do unconsciously ‘incorporate brands into the self’. Brands can build relevance, identification and shared values implicitly by being associated with the things, and being found in the places, that people do care about.”


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