Kelly O’Keefe and Matt Williams, Brand Federation Managing Partners, joined Roben Farzad of NPR's Full Disclosure during these unprecedented times to discuss the current COVID-19 crisis, the future of advertising, and the independent economy.
There is no question that the drastic transformation facing our industry and our world will be accelerated by the ongoing crisis. In this transformation we are seeing a significant shift toward an independence economy, one where workers are empowered to apply their skills on their own terms. As Williams put it “This drive to be independent and make my own decisions and create something that’s never been seen before is pervasive in the upcoming generation. And it’s going to be incumbent on all businesses, big and small, to figure out how they need to change to harness the creativity of that group. Because it’s going to be amazing and unstoppable."
As experts on this shift towards independence, O’Keefe and Williams grounded Full Disclosure listeners in the realities of the independence economy; “It is time for us to recognize that a significant portion of our economy is working on their own and they should have the same access to benefits as everyone else” O’Keefe shared. “What we seek is for the independent worker to have the same breaks as a full-time employee.
The conversation, of course, gravitated to questions about the larger impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the brands we know and love. As we watch our economy come to a grinding halt, many are asking: what should companies do to ensure their long term survival? O’Keefe and Williams were clear in their response: this is not a time for brands to stop communicating, it is a time for them to reconsider their message. O’Keefe summed this up with a provocative statement, “You’ve got to stop thinking about what we say to the public and start thinking about what we do for the public."