Assignment Impossible

 

Assignment Impossible

At the end of this story you’ll find three institutional ads—from United Technologies, General Electric and Archer Daniels Midland. All are attempts by Madison Avenue to create positive impressions in potential investors’ minds. Management hopes that if the image of these giant conglomerates can be burnished—as opposed to highlighting the famous brands that they own—the increased awareness will inspire investors to buy stock in the mother ship and the price of shares will go up. In the case of United Technologies, the campaign is budgeted at $20 million a year. In their endlessly self-congratulatory and repetitive book, “WHAT STICKS: Why Most Advertising Fails and How to Guarantee Yours