Different approaches to recession advertising and marketing

For 30 years, most Western economies have had an average of one recession a decade. In this article, WARC.com summarises some of the approaches to recession marketing taken in award-winning advertising case studies and research papers from the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s.

When NTC Publications, the company now known as WARC, published a 1999 guide to “Advertising in a Recession”, in co-operation with London BusinessSchool, the publication began by quoting approvingly the thoughts of Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, on a recession.

“I thought about it,” Mr Walton is reported to have said. “And decided not take part.”

Fortunately, NTC’s contributors proved less reluctant.

The resulting book, produced in relatively benign economic conditions (the dotcom crash and September 11thwere two years away), is as good a place to start on the history of this topic. You will...

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