4 Brands That Show How Negative Publicity Turns out Good

For more than a decade, the Kardashians have made their surname a branding juggernaut and is one celebrity family that is loved and hated at the same time. This extravagant, attention-seeking, pampered family always seem to have their private lives out in the open, 24/7.

The family is composed of Kylie, Kendall, Kourtney Kylie, Khloé and Kim, and Kris their “momager” who provide Americans and the whole world access to their privileged lives right down to the tiniest details. These details involve quickie divorces, whirlwind romances and out-of-wedlock pregnancies—no holds barred. Watching their show over cable TV is like watching a soap opera. You know someone is going to get hurt or humiliated, but, hey, it still makes good TV and creates a real frenzy on social media. You just need a marketing gimmick to get people to talk about you.

One of the most-followed people on Twitter, with over 61.8 million followers is Kim Kardashian.  She earns top dollar for every product push through her contract with in-stream advertiser Ad.ly. Kris Jenner, the family matriarch, believes that negative publicity is still publicity. In the Kardashian universe, it’s awesome if you’re being talked about, whether it’s in a good or bad light. That’s always 10,000 times better than being ignored.

What do we learn from the Kardashians?

Any Publicity is good, except if it’s your Obituary! Which is, of course, why you can’t read it.

Was Tesla's Presentation a Disaster or Guerrilla Marketing Strategy?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Elon Musk created the Cybertruck with a revolutionary design and it may have been the smartest thing he did. The public’s reaction has been polarizing, with comments ranging from “absolutely amazing” to “absolutely hideous”, with not much in between. Undoubtedly, Musk knew that it would evoke mixed perceptions. But after a few weeks things changed, and you won’t believe what made the company receive 200,000 orders!

Design and features are the key selling factors for any car. When the futuristic truck was launched in November 2019, it became a tell-tale nightmare, like some people perceived. In the world’s prying eyes the “armour glass” windows on the new Cybertruck broke, not once, but twice!  The lead designer, Franz von Holzhausen smashed the vehicle’s windows onstage with a metal ball as part of the “demonstration” process. It certainly wasn’t the result everyone was expecting, let alone the CEO, who was heard muttering “Oh my ****ing God” under his breath.  He nervously laughed off a serious fail and was forced to complete the presentation in front of the fractured panes.  What was perceived as an epic fail at Tesla’s Cybertruck launch turned out to be a ruse. If you think about it, the Cybertruck is still in the news and folks who aren’t car-enthusiasts are talking about the incident. The word of mouth marketing strategy is the best after all and Musk had nailed it with this ploy. This may have been, in a sense, a wonder-blunder.

Was Nike's Ad Campaign Radical or Ridiculous?

Would you ever burn shoes, especially Nike shoes? It may seem kind of weird or even psychotic to you. But, that’s what really took place when people in the US started destroying their Nike gear—shoes, clothes, socks and all by burning them to protest the company’s new ad campaign starring football player Colin Kaepernick.

The footballer refused to stand during the playing of the National Anthem to protest racial inequality. He has since kneeled in protest at several games. Nike launched a new campaign supporting Kaepernick’s stance with the words: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

This new advert had set social media ablaze, quite literally. People burned their Nike shoes, cut the logo from the socks, and vowed to never buy Nike products again. While the move might see a few burnt shoes and sliced up swooshes, it turned out to be a momentum of substance, integrity, and credibility for Nike. The new ad campaign was plastered all over the media and the gamble definitely paid off in terms of the brand gaining more respect and sales, which went up by 6 billion dollars!

Is Chennai's Homegrown Saravana Stores a Walmart in the Making?

The retail fashion industry is always dependent on a face that sells, which is of course endorsing top celebrities as brand ambassadors for their products. But hey, there will always be someone who will give an interesting twist to this concept.

A small town guy from a remote village, came, saw and conquered the retail business in Chennai. Sounds like a Kollywood movie? No it isn’t! Selvarathinam from a remote village in Tamil Nadu built the colossal retail store named Saravana Stores. His legacy was passed on to 3 of his kids who unfailingly retained the Brand name “Saravana Stores”. These 3 branched out on their own and started Saravana Selvarathinam (The original name of the shop), Saravana Stores – Crown, Saravana Stores – Legend.

The owner of “Legend Saravana Stores”, Saravana Arul was bold enough to act in his own commercials. His quirky demeanour and dancing skills showcasing his two left feet resulted in the entire state trolling the ad. He placed himself as the face of the brand knowing well that it would attract trolls & memes. The ridiculing troll became the marketing vehicle, went viral, and gave phenomenal attention span for the ad, so much so that millions of mobile phone users in Chennai would have seen this ad at least once.

At the cost of being a “troll” product, he propelled the “Saravana Stores Legend” brand at the top of every consumer’s mind recall. Was this a calculated risk or bold audaciousness? It could be a balance of both.

Publicity stunts have always been a marketing staple for brands that draw the kind of attention money simply can’t buy.

Do you know any kind of brand PR stunts that created a buzz wherever it went? Do you want to explore the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of publicity campaigns? Follow our advertising agency to dive deep into the world of brands.

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