Not exactly a crisis, per se, but a problem nonetheless. We have a mole in our midst.  Well, not actually a mole, more like a… oh, I can’t even say it.

Let’s back up a second.

According to a recent study, more than 42 percent of consumers distrust brands, and when it comes to brand advertising the number jumps to distrust at 69 percent. If you look at millennials, that number is at 84 percent, with only 1 percent of them saying advertising influences them at all.

With those statistics, it’s only a matter of time until they refuse to take part in this charade for a minute longer. You see, Phil is… OK, plainly speaking, he’s a rodent. There, I said it! And furthermore, he has been stone-cold lying about his degree in meteorology. For 132 years!

He has no idea whether seeing – or not seeing – his shadow means anything to seasonal changes.

So how do we diffuse this high-stakes situation? Sure, we can pitch a public affairs campaign to the National Council on Rodent Affairs to mitigate any fallout from this bombshell revelation, but what slippery slope will we find ourselves on? Sooner or later, those pesky millennials will be raising questions as far reaching as ‘How does a bunny actually carry a basket?’ to ‘Do owls really know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?’

No, to dig ourselves out of this groundhog-sized hole, we have to go big:

  • Start a ‘Did You Know’ influencer campaign, which will incite other closeted rodents, like hamsters and gerbils to step out of the shadows and live their truth. #rodentpower
  • Launch an Instagram account ‘Not Your Parent’s Groundhog’ and get celebrities to pose for photos with Phil.
  • See if the Property Brothers would be into an underground habitat makeover.

The lesson here is to start with authenticity. Yes, groundhogs are part of the rodent family. So, what’s it to you?

If we start with a baseline of truth, actual truth not hyperbole, we’ll have a chance for Phil to bask in the sun and for millennials to humor the idea of furry weather savants a little while longer.

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