Remember the hoopla created after Apple sued Samsung for copying its design. It created an unimaginable interest among people for Samsung’s Galaxy S III? It would have generated revenue for Samsung, had they not created this ad
It says «the Next big thing is already here – Samsung Galaxy S III», getting into a direct collision with Apple right before the release of iPhone5. The message was subtle yet powerful. It didn’t give away its competitor’s name but used it to promote its product. Many Samsung loyalists didn’t expect the company to take on the tech giant Apple (not mentioning their name for once in the ad). This is one of the best example of shock and awe. People were shocked by the bold step Samsung had taken right after the legal war. It was an awesome and rather valorous step on Samsung’s part to mock the «larger than life» approach of Apple, indirectly.
People do not like brands telling them what’s so good about their product, why should one buy them. The soft and sweet sales approach can last only this long. That is why, to break the clutter, some of the brands tell people why they shouldn’t buy their product or that they are not cool enough for their product. This is breaking the clutter. This is a real life example. More often than not, we have seen one of our fussy cousins who get all the attention, she fusses about food, clothes, weather etc. and you wonder why, in the world, is everyone catering to her needs? Well, she has created that aura about herself.
Let us illustrate with other examples: United Color of Benetton! Ring a bell? Benetton has always been in the spot light for creating rather shocking advertisement or shockvertisement. It has been known for «taking a stand» against the infringements of civil liberties, environmental and human rights. Benetton’s advertisement have featured images of men’s and women’s bodies with tattoos saying «HIV Positive» (to support HIV positive people around the globe, a man dying of AIDS, a soldier holding a newborn with its umbilical cord still attached, in one hand and a human bone on the other, was supposed to be anthem of life but it was one of the most censored visual in the history of Benetton.
If people can do it, why can’t Brands?
Curiosity gets the best of us, always. So when a brand tells us that we shouldn’t buy their product, we immediately ask ourselves, why not, thus helping the brand sell more or create engagement on Social Platforms. Let’s take Facebook ads for example. The first ever advertisement created by this social giant was called, «Chairs are like Facebook» and a bunch of other inanimate objects like doorbell, airplanes are also like Facebook. People reacted to this ad, either hated it or loved it. Some called it inane. Some termed it plain stupid. But the point here is everyone noticed, shared, joked and talked about it. Imagine the kind of engagement Facebook had that day. Yesterday, Facebook launched another comparison, «Pools are like Facebook» and guess what the reaction was; the post had 2000 comments in 2 hours and till now, 8344 comments and counting.
To summarize, shock advertisement, also known as shockvertisement, is the type of advertising generally regarded as one that deliberately, rather than inadvertently, startles and offends its audience by violating the norms for social values and personal ideas (web definition).
There are 4 crucial reasons for you to use shock advertisement for your brand. 1. To grab attention and cut through the noise in a clamped market place. 2. Obtain a viral spread. (get people to talk about your ad and hopefully share it with others) 3. You message will be quickly spread among your audience. 4. You get a fan following. People will be waiting for you to do something different next time.
This all sounds very flowery, isn’t it? But this has a negative effect as well. Constant shock can lessen with impact over the time. Don’t believe us? Look at the breaking news section of any new channel.
When it was first introduced, we all used to be excited over it but now, after every news becoming «breaking news, how many of us pay attention to it?
Would you use shock or negative advertisement for your brand? Let us know.