Questionable Judgment Becoming a Popular Marketing Tactic
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KNEWSQuestionable Judgment Becoming a Popular Marketing Tactic
When each of these questions flared up recently, the answer was always the same: No, of course not.
The allegedly funny, yet largely frustrating new trend of marketers âpunkingâ consumers with what could best be described as intentional fouls, is gaining popularity. Brands are alluding to questionable judgment, only to reveal soon after that it was all just a joke or much smaller in reality than the public was led to believe.
Is this the new era of marketing? Each brand saw a spike in online conversation and media coverage that PR pros aim for. However, the volume of reaction was mixed, and itâs also likely that many consumers who saw the original stunt never saw the later reveal.Â In these instances, brands come across as being silly, stupid and even incompetent, which in turn results in a negative effect.
A prime-case example: Â JCPenneyâs supposedly drunk tweets during the Super Bowl received approximately 40,000 re-tweets and widespread media coverage, but the follow-up #tweetingwithmittens hashtag only got used 7,911 times. This goes to show that perhaps the âre-tweetsâ were not so much about the brand itself, as it was the integrity (or lack thereof) of the commercial aired.
Grouponâs Presidentsâ Day announcement that it was âhonoring Alexander Hamiltonâ with a $10 discount yielded just 3,500 tweets, despite their efforts to âflubâ the public with the knowledge that Hamilton was never a United States President.
So is the âintentional foulâ a smart marketing move?
âBrands need to take a long, hard look at themselves before engaging in this kind of approach,â said Edelman Digital Senior Vice-President Dave Fleet. âFor those with a playful identity and whose audiences are used to this kind of tone, the risk is lower, and this approach can break through the clutter.â
âTrust in a brand is critical, and a perception of betraying that trust can do long-lasting damage to a companyâs relationship with its customers,â Fleet went on to say. âThat doesnât mean âdonât do it,â but it does mean companies should think twice about point-in-time stunts if they donât fit with their brand.â
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