This is an idea that has stuck with me for about 4 years now. In high school, when I was doing business studies I remember sitting in the class discussing marketing campaigns and which were effective and which were not. I can remember Miss Dixon showing us 5 different ads on the same line of products (I’m fairly sure it was car ads) and asking the class which was the more effective one. I think like 2/3rds of the class said that the controversial ad we watched was the most engaging and the one that affected us enough to care. Controversy creates cash, it’s a simple statement and its one that will always hold true.
This ad was run during this year’s Super bowl, now it doesn’t seem so bad, does it? Well according to America it’s a racist Ad. I can see why but what is it showing? The ad is showing a white guy from Minnesota talking with a Jamaican accent promoting a happy lifestyle because he drives a VW. That’s the denotation of the ad, but what is the connotation? People in America saw it as racist, but did the Jamaican people? They actually approved of this ad as seen below in the next video which talks about the controversy this ad caused.
But, Clarkey, how is this controversy creating cash? Simple: it’s being talked about. If you have an ad being talked about then its free publicity. I remember a good quote from my marketing class last year, “Any Publicity, whether it be positive or negative, is good publicity,” if you are being talked about in the media then you know it’s going to make people look at your brand more often. If people are looking at your brand they will be more tempted to buy it. Creating cash in this modern world is really important. Most marketers will use controversial ideas in their ad campaigns more if their brand is struggling so they create some more cash out of it.
Volkswagon 2013, Volkswagon Game Day 2013 Commercial | Get In. Get Happy., Accessed of 24/03/2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H0xPWAtaa8
TheYoungTurks 2013 Controversial Super Bowl ad by VW , Accessed on 24/03/2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7Q9i_wvd8U
Imaged sourced from http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1168589066l/35491.jpg