Shock Tactic Ads - Effective??
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 1:38PM
Matthew Bywater in Advertising, Strategy

Last week on Sunrise we discussed the new Harvey Nichols advertising campaign - The Harvey Nichols Sale... Try To Contain Your Excitement. This is the 2nd shock tactic type ad they have run in 6 months (The Walk of Shame was their last effort) - These can be seen on the video clip below

Sure it gains attention but an effective ad must do more than gain attention, an effective ad will get a tick from all 4 of the following criterias -

1) Attention (gains the consumer’s attention)
2) Interest (is the story interesting enough to keep the consumer’s attention)
3) Desire (what is attractive about the offer)
4) Action (Influence the consumer behaviour - Call to Action)

For me this ad gets a 1.5 out of 4, apart from grabbing your attention by the somewhat crass nature of the images, there is little of interest for the consumer. I really question the desirability of a fashion item with a wet spot!!! There is no real call to action, shock alone won’t get people pouring through the doors

This highlights my long held belief that shock tactics are often used in place of good creative or worse still, when the product is sub-standard (not the case in this clothing brand though)

So really think long and hard before using these tactics (notice I call them tactics not strategy, huge difference in end results)

Article originally appeared on Matthew Bywater | Marketing Strategist & Media Commentator (
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