This week, we’re talking about advertising. Bad advertising… According to AdWeek and emarketer, the U.S. was projected to spend $205 billion on ads in 2017 (which includes traditional ads as well as mobile and digital).
What happens when your ad is not properly thought through and leads to backlash?
A Snapchat ad created by a third party, concerning singers Rihanna and Chris Brown, led to Rihanna boycotting Snapchat for “making light of domestic violence.” As a result, Snapchat lost nearly a billion dollars in market value, and its stock plunged by 4 percent.
The unfortunate point in this scenario is that the third party (and perhaps Snapchat as well) wanted a quick and easy success story and assumed tapping into big celebrities would get them that. Snapchat’s policy states, “All ads are subject to our review and approval. We reserve the right to reject or remove any ad in our sole discretion for any reason. We also reserve the right to request modifications to any ad, and to require factual substantiation for any claim made in an ad.” They claimed that the offensive ad was approved in error and consequently removed; however, the damage was already done.
We see a lot of brands jumping on the influencer bandwagon. It is, after all, trendy… However, in a desperate attempt at influencer sensationalism, Snapchat (and their third party) failed miserably. It’s sad to see that marketers still haven’t learned from the Pepsi PR controversy a year ago.
The takeaway I have for you is something I preach regularly. Your content, which includes your advertising, should always focus on your audience. You must put yourself in your people’s shoes and view the message from their perspective. Remember those micro-moments I constantly refer to? You have to meet your audience where they are, with content that is top-of-mind for them. Content that resonates and goes viral is that which uplifts people, empowers them, inspires them and wows them. It certainly isn’t content that makes fun of a very serious topic, such as domestic violence.
If you have any questions about how we ensure your ads are in line with your brand’s communication strategy please ask away. We always have your back.