Why Trumpism Is Here To Stay, And What Brands Should Do About It

The 2020 presidential election has barely been resolved and oddsmakers are already predicting the soon-to-be-departing incumbent is the Republican favorite for 2024. That assumes the then 78-year-old, isn’t behind bars, but it also means he will likely continue to be a domineering figure in American politics for some time to come.

“Odds compilers currently still make Donald J. Trump the most likely Republican to win the 2024 US Election with odds of +1000,” a spokesman for noted, pitching me on a 2024 story this morning.

The site’s current odds consensus has 2020 President Elect Joe Biden the most favored candidate to win in 2024, followed by his running mate Kamala Harris, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ivanka Trump.

In other words, just when you think you’ve put the election behind us, the news cycle is already ramping up for “four more years.”

That shouldn’t be surprising given the boon the past four years have been to media -- so-called “mainstream news media,” extreme right-wing fringe media outlets, and social media, too. It also shouldn’t be surprising, because the incumbent registered for 2020 and began campaigning for it right after being inaugurated in 2016. I expect we’ll see the same pattern repeat itself over the next four years, with the former President doing everything in his power to rabble rouse his constituency leading up to 2024 -- presumably including his own media company platform.

One of the most heartening things to occur this weekend was to see Fox News Channel among the first to “call” the election for Biden. It was heartening for many reasons, but especially because research has shown Fox News has a powerful influence on spreading alternative realities, especially for the radicalized right.

In the meantime, the U.S. -- and the rest of the world -- have a lot of healing to do. COVID-19 infections are growing at an accelerated rate, and public health officials are warning this winter could be even worse than last spring in hospitalizations and deaths. And we still have two months until an erratic, angry, paranoid, lame duck leaves office, so the prognosis doesn’t look good.

Meanwhile, the fact that the incumbent got 70 million votes -- the most ever for an incumbent President, albeit a losing one -- signals how divided we will continue to be.

“Marketers will want to consider how the persistent presence of Trumpism -- whether in the form of active knowledgeable support or active support based on dis/mis-information-based knowledge -- will impact their businesses,” GroupM Business Intelligence chief Brian Wieser cautions in an analysis published over the weekend, noting: “The fact that so many people actively supported Trumpism for a second consecutive election strongly indicates that related philosophies and world views will loom large in years ahead, regardless of whether or not Trump himself is directly associated with those ideas.”

While the U.S. and the world will have a respite of some return to political “normalcy,” Wieser implies Trumpism may have lost this battle, but it will continue to wage a war, which has many implications for brands, especially since a bounty of research indicates consumers no longer want them to be politically neutral.

“Marketers should consider the degree to which the presence of Trumpism is consistent with the health of their businesses in the long run,” Wieser writes, noting, “Many of the aforementioned characteristics of Trumpism – especially including authoritarianism, clientelism, isolationism and a conservative social order – are inconsistent with the factors that have contributed to economic growth in the United States over many years.”

While Wieser doesn't actually give explicit advice on what they should do about that, he alludes to it, concluding they may do well to play a role in informing the public.

“This could occur through support of overtly educational public awareness initiatives within schools and outside of them, but also through active support of platforms and content creators that help to support these values. Underlying messaging will be critical,” he advises, adding, “ More substantial society-wide investments in media literacy – and, in particular, helping consumers to better understand how information is produced and distributed – could also be helpful.”

11 comments about "Why Trumpism Is Here To Stay, And What Brands Should Do About It".
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  1. George Parker from Parker Consultants, November 9, 2020 at 10:37 a.m.

    Wow... Just three days since Joe was declared as the winner and we are already talking about 2024. Better pay attention to the polls, right? 'Cos they are infallible. Standing by for the never ending appeals for funds. Boy, is American politics screwed, or what.

  2. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, November 9, 2020 at 10:48 a.m.

    joe, you hit a new low today.  You write about "Trumpism" with next to no understand what it is and why half of Americans support him.  Simply this, it is about freedom from a big brother, big governmemt with it's boot on the back of necks.  We don't need a mask mandate because we have common sense to know when I should wear one.  Trumpism is a love of country and yes, we love liberals like you. We believe in state rights and not to be dicated or dominated by the agenda of the big East or West Coast states.  We don't believe in bailing out bankrupt cities and states that created their own shortfalls.   Do I neeed to go on?  The bottomline, Trumpism is about freedom expecially from a total warpped media who forgot how to be fair. In typical fashion you will bad mouth me for trying to explain why you just wrote such a poor article.

  3. David Mountain from Marketing and Advertising Direction, November 9, 2020 at 11:08 a.m.

    You have the common sense of when to wear a mask during an asymptomatic pandemic.

    The data says otherwise.

  4. Robyn Lindars from Netbase, November 9, 2020 at 11:23 a.m.

    Joe, as the Editor of this Publication, you should know better than to come out with a one sided biased article. Did everyone forget what they were taught in Journalism School? So why did you infer that Trump could run again if not in jail? Meanwhile, Biden currently is under investigation, a REAL investigation for corruption in the US. Because US senators don't make billions of dollars legally on a Senator's salary. 
    Thanks for being part of the problem with a biased, failed media. There are much bigger things at play than the medias hate for Trump, such as our freedom. 

    I'm so glad to unsubscribe to MediaPost now that I see the editor of this publication can't report facts, just innate bias to pass on and shove down our throats. You are part of the problem with the media! Do your job and report facts, not opinion!!!

  5. Dan Ciccone from STACKED Entertainment, November 9, 2020 at 11:23 a.m.

    I understand this is commentary, but your headline said "what marketers should do about it" and you offered nothing other than for brands to support self-proclaimed values of the left - like the people on the right do not support literacy and education. 

    Additionally, your continued generalization and promotion of anyone voting for Trump as being some oddity that the media and marketers need to treat differently is nauseating.

    When you asked if Mediapost should endorse a candidate, by and large, most responded that it's appropriate to report on how a candidate may affect our business through legislation, but anything beyond that - any kind of endorsement - would not be appropriate. Are you paying attention to your readers?

    Let it go, Joe.  Get back to providing commentary on the industry based on verifiable trends and insight and not on your own ideology.

  6. Maria Johnson from Self, November 9, 2020 at 12:56 p.m.

    And if Trump does decide to run again he may be running against Joe Biden, assuming Joe is not in jail or joe's family isnt in jail.  But lets assume that Joe Biden and his family does not get indicted for sake of argument, then I think Joe could run against Trump.

  7. Maria Johnson from Self, November 9, 2020 at 1:01 p.m.

    Lets face it, Biden bearly won, he literally skeaked by. The right kept the senate and they gained 6 seats in the house so there is no mandate. Joe promises to cure "systemic racism" and "inequality" which is an amazing goal. The left has been promising this since as long as I have been alive. I thought Clinton had it in 1992 and for 8 years he tried but for some reason it came back. Then Obama and Biden promised to get rid of it and battled it for 8 years but for some reason rqce riots, police shootings, mass shooting and inequality persisted more then ever.  Look, I am sure Joe Biden will finally solve it this time, it cant be that hard to force you to love me and the governerment is super smart, they will get it this time. 

  8. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, November 9, 2020 at 5:03 p.m.

    Yeah, not enough people have died. Meanwhile, all government is socialist. 330,000,000+ do not do what they want when they want because.....any reason. Example: When you pay your local taxes, the administration has departments that take out of that kitty to pay for what your city needs when they need it. You do not an individually monthly itemized bill for everything that gets spend or an individual bill for your portion of every police or fire person's salary every week. Nor do you have to hire a contractor and pay them individually for every time they replace a gas line in front of your home. All government works this way. It is a major tenent of socialism. And it beats every one of the 14 points of fascism as we have been teetering for the last almost 4 years. PS: Either you are for fascism or against fascism aka antifascist. You can't be a little of either.

  9. Michael Margolies from Michael Margolies Photography & Design replied, November 9, 2020 at 10:54 p.m.

    Craig well said, this was a propoganda hit peice and the so-called data was created by left wing extremists. Its sure easy to tell when we are about to be fed a load of crap, when the supposed authority strats trash talking have the nation with data pulled form nowhere and no mention of the extrmist left causing most of the trouble, the violence hate and lawlessness while condemning those always aweful law-abiding conservatives they so love to malign. 

    When MediaPost became just one more leftwing DNC PR pipeline to shovel extreme leftist propoganda I stopped paying attention. Every noe and again I will drop in to see if the children are still runining things. 

    Sadly, I find that they are still spewing hate with this nonsense article. I guess I can ignore MediaPost for another 6 months and hope at some point common sense adults return to focus on the purpose of the publicaion and stop pretending ot be Vox or the NY Times. 

  10. Kenneth Fadner from MediaPost, November 10, 2020 at 10:06 a.m.

    I am Chairman and Publisher of MediaPost. Please direct any requests for cancellation to me at

  11. Bob Guccione, Jr from WONDERLUST, November 15, 2020 at 12:25 a.m.

    Excellent piece Joe. But I think too much weight is given to Trumpism, and I don't think all the 70 million plus votes he recieved were all for, frankly, him. I think a large percentage of people simply didn't want a Democrat slash liberal to win, and thought Biden was going to take America too far left (he won't, and some of his harshest criticism I predict will be from the far, far left, like AOC, who are actually as out of touch with the rest of America as their critics say). Or they were erroneously led to believe he was going to defund the police, or lockdown America and strangle small businesses. And Biden, who I certainly wanted to win, didn't do a great job of disabusing them of that. He could've have been stronger, more emphatic there. 

    I daresay only half to maybe slightly over of the 70M+ voters who pulled Trump's lever were actually pulling for Trump. I think the rest voted against Joe Biden, either passionately or just reflexively.

    As for how brands "react" --- why react at all? If you're a box of cereal, who cares what your politics are. My main concern is that you don't overcharge for your box of damn cereal! Seriously, Ben and Jerry's is not going to become a beacon of conservatism, and Walmart isn't going to go all fuzzy and sensitive on us. Everyone in between should just be who and what they are, and stop the navel gazing. We're too polarized in this country as it is, I don't think we need Tide's politcal angst as well.

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