Fast Chat: Paul Jankowski

Access Brand Strategies principal on why his work with Lipton and Lady Antebellum offers a glimpse of the 'new heartland'

This summer’s “Drink Positive” national ad campaign for Lipton iced tea uses country music trio Lady Antebellum as the face of the "new heartland," a group of Americans connected not only by geography between the coasts but also by a similar mindset larger than just the Midwest. Paul Jankowski, chief strategist at Access Brand Strategies, argues the region—home to 60 percent of U.S. consumers—should be seen as one that also encompasses other parts of the country. Jankowski is proud to be one of them, as a Memphis native and Nashville resident who previously worked as CMO at Elvis Presley Enterprises. ABS has been retained by marketers like Lipton and Mountain Dew, with Jankowski recommending and signing Lady Antebellum and country music singer Jason Aldean for Mountain Dew. As the author of How to Speak American: Building Brands in the New Heartland, he has done research about a consumer group he feels is largely overlooked. He spoke to Adweek about why marketers are missing out on an increasingly important opportunity and why, in these tough times, there may be a little heartland in all Americans, no matter where they live.