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Entries in Strategy (3)

Tuesday
Jun192012

Shock Tactic Ads - Effective??

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)

Transcript of the segment follows -

David Koch Well, a department store might have gone a wee bit too far as Billy Connolly would say. In its latest ad campaign UK company, Harvey Nichols, which is a bit like DJs I suppose, is promoting its latest sale with flyers featuring models who have wet themselves.

Melissa Doyle Now the ads had the tagline, "Try to contain your excitement." The store says it was trying to come up with a lighthearted approach. So did it miss the mark or did it hit it? Let's see what advertising expert Matthew Bywater from 4promote thinks.

Good morning to you. Do you like them?

Matthew Bywater: Oh I don't. I question this ad, good tactics, bad strategy. In fact, I don't see a strategy here. The tactic's very obvious, get attention.

Melissa Doyle Yeah.

Matthew Bywater: Which is the rule number one in advertising, grab attention. It certainly, as crass as it is, actually does do that, but does it engage? Does it build relationship with an audience? If your audience is wet, you have pants wetting people, maybe? I don't really get it. This is a high end brand and they're going rather low end on this.

And the third thing is it doesn't have a call to action. Is it going to get people to actually come through the stores? And I don't see a call to action here at all.

David Koch Okay, let's look, it was in trouble a little while ago with a another controversial ad. Take a look at this.

Yeah, like Benetton have been making ads like this for years, haven't they?

Matthew Bywater: Yeah.

David Koch Differentiate.

Matthew Bywater: They slightly got away with this ad as far as the regulatory bodies go and that's because they couldn't draw a direct line between the casual sort of nighttime affairs of some people or just somebody having a really, really late night. So it was kind of borderline as far as rules and regulations go. But certainly it's not crass like the one we saw before.

Melissa Doyle Yeah.

Matthew Bywater: Which I think is a big difference.

Melissa Doyle All right, another strange one. The Cadbury ad featuring a gorilla playing the drums. It had no chocolate in it. We'll play a little bit. We'll have a look. Tell me what you think while we're watching it. Did this work for you? Did you think it was successful or effective?

Matthew Bywater: This ad was absolutely effective and going back to what I said before, the last ad lacked strategy, this one had strategy. Cadbury brought this ad out, with a change of agency I might ad, because they were struggling. They cut a lot of jobs in the US, they were moving jobs to Poland and sort of outsourcing jobs.

Melissa Doyle Yeah.

Matthew Bywater: They had some salmonella issues. They had some nuts in Easter egg issues without claiming nuts on the label. They had all sorts of public relations issues. And what they decided to do is rather than be defensive about all that is just change the story, come out with something entertaining, something fun. This ad was huge.

David Koch Yeah.

Matthew Bywater: It had millions and millions of hits on YouTube and it flows on today. And there's a lot of parodies, a lot of people taking off that ad, which just further accentuates it [crosstalk 00:02:50].

Melissa Doyle You know it's a good ad when you get parodies.

Matthew Bywater: Yeah.

David Koch Yeah.

And the other one was the [crosstalk 00:02:55].

Melissa Doyle Yeah.

David Koch Matthew, good to see you mate.

Melissa Doyle Thanks.

David Koch Thank you for that [crosstalk 00:02:59].