Thursday, 6 December 2012

Does Controversial Content Increase Sales?

Does Controversial Content / Marketing Drive Sales?

Check out this Video

Note it's the same garment (man's)!

On the Web, if it Don't Spread, it's Dead!

Exercising Care & Caution, Sense & Sensitivity

For some organisations, one way to increase traffic and / or sales is to run an Ad Campaign that's based on controversial content. There are some pros and cons to consider before this is launched.

If you do this right you will be amply rewarded, if you get this wrong it could backfire and compromise your reputation. For some any publicity, even bad, is good for business so it will depend on the objectives of your current campaign and long term goals of your organisation.

For the best outcome we feel that such ad campaigns while they usually push the edge should ENSURE that these do not offend, exploit or trample on the rights of the vulnerable groups of society viz. children, women, elderly, disabled, minority groups, nursing mothers, orphans, illiterate, etc. that is, the ones who are least able to defend themselves properly if at all and often the targeted subject because they are perceived to be easier prey.

Just because some big brand does it does not mean that one has to condone it, especially if there are graphic images or videos that suggest really dark ideas - even if the actual Ad does not explicitly and / or graphically portray the end-result but implies it instead. The power of suggestion cannot be understated  - many a crime or great acts are all preceded by thought - from seeds planted in the imagination. You just never know who your audience are. While most people are psychologically balanced your ad may strike a chord with someone who has latent, psychopathic tendencies or who can't distinguish fantasy from reality.

Hornets Sting when your ad campaign SUCKS!
We Sting when U Suck!
If you get your Ad Campaign wrong you could potentially unleash the fury of a trillion hornets that would sting you where you hurt most ... your WALLET. This is a highly possible scenario. Why?

GURRRL PPPower ~ Something Guys Don't Have!

Think about it, social media is on the rise and rise. The most prolific and savvy users of social media are women (and Y generation). Women make more purchasing decisions than men. Ask the big brands who their target markets are?

Take my Grandma for example, my Grandad hands over his wallet to her on payday (intact) and she organises the running of the household. She pays the bills and does ALL the purchasing including his underwear (Grandad hates shopping and prefers to go fishing instead), and it's not just for her immediate household. Everyone in her clan is a beneficiary of her generosity, bless her heart.

Seriously, she remembers everyone's milestones - birthdays, anniversaries, graduation days, etc. and she shops for them. Take Bessie - Grandma's bought her her birthday present already (yup! she follows the coupon trail and Discount Days). Bessie is only 7 weeks old. And NO, Grandma was having none of that "Hashtags" stuff for a name for her granddaughter!  She's not the only one as her Supergrans club is full of women like her and their daughters.

On social media you will find them sharing tips and tricks of where to get this or do that ... offline or online they are engaging in what they do best ie. 'communicate'. That's the way they are wired ok? so accept that the 'weaker' gender is actually gifted in the gab and their favourite past-time is 'sharing'. Don't believe me? Just eavesdrop on their morning tea-break and hear how she rated you last night!! No joke, you get more news via the office's skirt-feed in 10 minutes than you can glean from the company's entire timeline!

And when you offend these sisters with a bad-taste Ad Campaign, then shut down your mobile devices, and head for the hills because your server is going to melt-down! That's the sisterhood for you. Yep, women are more consultative and collaborative (and less competitive) than men and many firms are now moving away from an all-male-executive, business-model for the reason that corporations based on a healthy ratio of men and women executives perform better than those whose boardrooms are monopolised by only one gender.  (Note: it's all about the MIX, rather than an all-female board either.)


We therefore feel that the best policy is NOT to be socially insensitive to other groups in society. We have a SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY to send out the correct messages to a society that is increasingly facing a decline in moral and social standards partly because the Internet serves so much controversial content to anyone who wants it and for FREE, and makes it seem as if all THAT is the NORM!

It is NOT a case of the means justifying the ends. Ad campaigns should be socially responsible regardless of whether it's for profit or non-profit motives.

For that reason we advocate that businesses take a firm stand and formulate a clear and sensible policy about controversial content to prevent strife with staff and followers and to ensure they do NOT compromise their reputation ~ BEFORE ~ they even plan their first Ad Campaign.

The above video is actually quite innocuous and well executed but there are others that can send out the wrong message ... if it falls into the wrong hands. Your thoughts on this?


PS: If you are going to use controversial content avoid posting nude or incongruent images just to get eyeballs - it has to be RELEVANT and not out of context.  See the bizarre stuff from Godaddy.  Nerds have enough to do without taxing their neurons trying to decrypt saucy pics ...

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