Did Identity Politics influence Identity Marketing?

i Over the last 5 years we have seen the rapid rise of what is being called Identity Politics. Where people of a particular race, religion or social background form political alliances and move away from traditional broad-based politics. The election of Donald Trump, the change of government in India and Brexit in the UK in many ways was an expression of identity politics. It said that a certain kind of people had been suffering too long and if you were one of these people then you should vote for this new alliance, this new way of thinking. The new trend of identity politics might be a trend, the question is whether it is here to stay or will it subside like all other trends.
Maybe purely through coincidence or as a direct effect of what was happening in the political arena a parallel trend was emerging in advertising and marketing circles which was identity marketing.  It said that if you think you are a person like this, then this is the product/brand for you.  While it is not new thinking in advertising or marketing, it certainly took on a new and more vigorous shape in marketing activities in the last 5 years.   Perhaps also because every marketer decided that their target groups for consumption were the millennials. Irrespective of their size, influence or spending power. Many articles were written about the millennials and how marketers would ignore them to their own peril. Often the new marketing seemed prounouced and exaggerated.  It also struggled with trying hard to potray the people it was appealing to. In fact many campaigns tried to hard, I think.  A good global example was the British Army Campaign. The campaign was targeting 16-25 year olds often what is called Generation Z.  
Basically Trump was saying that if America wants its borders to be safe, illegal immigrants punished, and that they needed a solution to the Syrian refugee crisis they should elect Trump. Identity politics in other words ably supported by identity marketing. Describe the person you are appealing to. And make their attitudes and behaviours come alive.  As I said not new since this is old hat in marketing and advertising but certainly a new approach to the same thing we always knew about. Closer home in India it was not unusual to see messaging from the BJP party which forms the current government in India to send out messages which clearly identified that they were meant for the majority religious group in the country.
The Brexit campaign also took key attitudes of the Leavers and said if you believe in this then vote for Leave. Connect with me on http://www.twitter.com/WiseCowboy
Prabhakar Mundkur has spent 40 years in advertising and worked in India, Africa and Asia. He is currently Chief Mentor with HGS Interactive a part of HGS in the Hinduja Group. He is on the advisory board of Sol 's Arc (solsarc.org ) an NGO dedicated to special education for intellectually challenged children. He is also a member of Whiteboard ( whiteboardindia.org ) which supports senior management of NGOs in financial management, PR, Communication and HR through pro bono expertise.

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