Warning: this blog contains videos that some readers may find offensive.
Earlier on this year, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the Beats Pill advert was not to be shown before 19.30. It was simply “too sexual”.
The ASA took into account complaints that the advert was sexist and that people may find it distasteful “particularly the shots of the women’s bodies with their heads obscured and the shot of women on all fours”.
Whether intended or not (cough), this is brilliant marketing. A banned/controversial advert targets their demographic perfectly. The Beats electronic’s CEO is Dr Dre (if you type his name into Google the first result is “Beats by Dre”). A man who is not shy about shocking people. Average AB males don’t buy Beats products – Tweens and Generation Y’s do.
And when Generation Y’s deem a product ‘trendy’, Tweens will often follow in droves. Associating a brand with some form of controversy, in this case, increases its appeal.
IKEA used the same approach of ‘shock advertising’ in their 2001 campaign with this series of adverts:
Many young adults, having grown up with IKEA, associated it with their parents generation.
The “Tidy Up’ campaign, developed by Leagas Delaney, won a plethora of awards in 2001 and 2002 and helped change the way in which we now perceive IKEA.
In 1992, an incredible campaign which was created purely designed to mock other adverts.
Trevor Robinson and Allan Young, the creators, are accredited with what has since become known as ‘Guerilla advertising”.
“The whole point was that this radical, strong, full-of-attitude campaign worked – it shifted cans of fizzy pop in a way that got Britvic’s rivals panicking. It also showed what potential there was in thinking of completely fresh ideas. And better than that – it became part of our culture.” Tim Delaney, Leagas Delaney
The advert was banned because there were reports of the behaviour being replicated on the school playground and there were reports of damage to the ears. The orange man then switched to kissing his victims.
Taking shock advertising to the next level.
Ryan Clark from Linkbuildr sums up what many feel about the advert:
“This Skittles Newlweds commercial is quite possibly the most offensive ad in a long time…I LOVE it!”
The advert has no endorsement from Skittles:
“This video and website is in no way associated with Skittles or the Wm. Wrigley Jr Company”
Viral adverts are incredibly powerful and if a brand can disassociate itself from the content, whilst still getting the product out there, then surely this is marketing genius.
The advert gets shared and anyone who is offended gets told that the advert has no association with the brand. Win, win.
Featured Image: Angie Vianzon
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