Well, it's come to this. I'm busy as always, but missing all this blogging fun. Good for the soul. So in the spirit of Andrew, I think I'll just repost an email. Maybe you'll find it interesting, too.
One of our strategists at Twist found a pretty great survey of Walmart moms. One question in particular stood out to me. Or as Gillian said, "Walmart Moms were less likely to refer to themselves as middle class, and more likely to describe themselves as working class (let's get real – this probably speaks to them being more realistic and having less status anxiety than the other women surveyed – we all know America doesn't have much of a middle class. I've read other studies that have shown that most people, regardless of whether they are rich or struggling, will self-report that they are middle class)."
So I yammer on in response…
I especially love the bit around working class versus middle class. Working class is used in an almost derogatory fashion throughout most of the States. Like middle class implies you're working your way towards the upper class, whereas manufacturing types in Michigan or Pennsylvania, Miners in West Virginia, whatever – don't relate as well to the quintessential American story. Their parents did the same job. And their parents before them. And that sort of thing is a badge of honor within those communities, not a sign of stagnation.
It's partly what I love so much about the Levi's Ready to Work campaign. It took the ideals of the working class, freedom in open spaces, working with your hands – these things they were feeling like they were losing, and made it a cause for the creative class in San Francisco, LA, Chicago, NY – who were just discovering those very same ideals and making them their own.
Also speaks to the broader point of how we should be looking at our own jobs. It's not enough to look at a situation or an audience and understand them in a vacuum, but we're at our best when we're connecting those audiences to a larger story. Which doing that is all about all of our other inputs we bring in. What is it that our brains bring to the table that help us sift and see how one thing is like another in ways others can't.
(and full disclosure, Walmart is a client)