WHAT is it?
It startles, offends, or “triggers” people by making a stance on social issues, bringing up something taboo, or raising awareness of an issue,
It’s okay to offend...sometimes
WHY be controversial in marketing in the first place?
To get an emotional response
you establish emotions before rationality
it doesn’t work to convince someone to buy your argument through a logical argument and reasoning complete with charts, graphs, and cited sources
in any relation you build rapport first (the logical reasoning behind why you like a person comes second)
To get people talking
raises brand awareness
All press is good press
HOW to be controversial:
Raise awareness of an issue
The goal of a controversial marketing campaign is to...
Shock (piss ‘em off)
Break the norms (turn their heads)
Raise Debate (get ‘em talkin’)
...and ultimately capture attention and create buzz. Get on the top of everyone’s mind
make the message clear but disputable
realize not everyone will agree
understand who you are advertising to (ideals, beliefs, world view)
connect/relate it back to your brand in some way
justify your place in the conversation (offer value or insight)
- bring about controversy for the sake of controversy (you must have a message)
-expect to please everyone
use a death or a national tragedy as a sales opportunity
actually be bigotted (sexist, racist)
be ignorant (of the implications of your message)
confuse people about your message
Examples of good Controversial marketing, links included
Shock/piss ‘em off
[Gillette’s “Better Men” ad (1.2m dislikes and 700k likes)](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koPmuEyP3a0
Gillette has no goal of being moral, otherwise they would be a nonprofit. They are a business. For profit.
They wanna make money.
Their sales were down and in a desperate attempt to bring their share price back up, they decided to re-target their audience.
This ad is NOT targeted towards men.
It’s targeted toward WOMEN, who do the shopping for the whole household, and hold feminist ideals.
The Director of the ad that they hired is an extreme feminist. Her name is Kim Gehrig.
She’s known for her ad called “Womankind”
You have an ad created by women... for women.
Excuse me, let me clarify, you have an ad for women THAT HATE MEN created by a woman THAT HATES MEN.
This is not about building anything positive for men.
This is about catering to a feeling of contempt or distaste that these women unfortunately hold.
This isn’t a message to men to “step up”, this is a message to women:
“You’re right in feeling like most men are destructive beings and there are very few that are decent...oh and by the way, we’re Gillette, remember we said this so you can come buy our razors when you’re buying for your son, husband, and boyfriend.”
In a video that went viral, you have a woman telling boys how to act, which statistically leads to mass shootings (most mass shooters come from single mother homes).
Break the norms
Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign
Respond to the Controversy. Ride the waves
They took a controversial ad and offered a different opinion
(a more well informed opinion quite frankly. They include statistics and the sources where they found them, rather than some fabricated hyperbole drama with absolutely no concrete evidence)