Feb. 4, 2020

When (and How) to Effectively use Controversial Advertising

When (and How) to Effectively use Controversial Advertising

This action-packed episode is brought to you by the performance marketing experts at Voy Media.

This action-packed episode is brought to you by the performance marketing experts at Voy Media.

https://voymedia.com/

Today i'll be discussing something we see improving results EVERYWHERE we implement it, and you can do this EASILY. This thing is to use CONTROVERSIAL creative angles. In your ads, video footage, video text, copy - across all parts of your creative, make bold and polarizing statements - not like a PR crisis, but just let your guard down. You would probably explain a product differently to your friends at a bar than you would to someone in a professional setting. The bar setting relates more to people’s mindsets scrolling on social media, but a guarded professional setting is the state you’re most likely to be in when making ads.The basic concept: lean into controversy. You will slice through the noise, even if a boring brand, if you make a polarizing statement. His example was leggings - typically a competitive niche, but if you use a polarizing angle like plus size, body confidence, etc., you can stand out a lot (a fast growing e-commerce brand that does this well is ShaperMint, check out their ads library ASAP - I have no affiliation with them).A few tips when doing this.

  • First, READ CUSTOMER REVIEWS. We read Amazon reviews for our brand and competitors which helped find tons of relatable stories wee would’ve never thought of (highly recommend). In this example, it’s for a special kind of belt with no buckle, and this is the line became the cornerstone of the creatives: “I’m fat, I’m a truck driver, and I sit all day. I hate how my belt digs into my stomach roll” (loosely based on a real review). We included this in video copy, showing a trucker. The video was done really well by our designers, good hook, good stock footage. CTR went way up, ROAS went way up.
  • Use humor. I don’t have the studies in front of me but supposedly when you use humor, people are less likely to disagree with you. This is important when making controversial statements that might otherwise offend people. Also humor is just a great hook, it’s what a lot of people want when they go on social media.
  • “I” ( i ) statements, not “you”. It comes off like a customer review even if it isn’t, so it feels more organic, it’s now a relatable story. If you say “you”, like “Do YOU have [insert glaring vulnerability]?”, it might work, but it could turn people away. When you frame it as “I”, it takes away a lot of the potential offensiveness
  • Vulnerability in the hook, especially when you use the “I” statement, it allows you to address a vulnerability of the audience in a way they’re more likely to listen to. A weird source of where this is done EXPERTLY is standup comedy. If you watch clips of Bill Burr, he does this very well. They start with a controversial statement, and often about their vulnerabilities
  • Don’t worry about vulnerabilities/offending, you likely won’t offend if you are genuinely providing a solution for a very real problem. A lot of the reason people buy something is to improve their life in some way, so by addressing how your product helps that vulnerability is fine, regardless of the subject matter.

If you get real relatable stories, use humor, say “I” and not “you” as much, and address a real vulnerability in the hook.


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