Can Controversial Ads Help Brand Building


Simple fact: controversy is a powerful force. It’s a topic that grabs the attention of people and demands their attention.

Naturally, controversy can offend or inspire people to think deeply about a subject.

It always makes people stop and pay attention.

Does the attention that a controversial advertisement will bring to your business outweigh the risk it could pose to its reputation?

Here is a closer look at all you need to understand about controversial advertising and whether it’s right for your campaign.

What is controversial advertising?

Advertisements are designed to bring attention to your business so that it can grow, reach a wider audience, and gain more customers.

Successful advertising will increase awareness about your products and services. It also paints a picture of how life would be if your brand were part of it.

Controversy is about stirring things up. It can stir up strong emotions and even spark heated debates.

The music and visuals are sure to grab people’s attention whether they like them or not.

Contrary to popular belief, controversy isn’t necessarily bad. It can be a springboard for new relationships and fruitful discussions.

Controversial Advertising harnesses controversy’s undeniable force to get the audience to pay more attention to the brand.

A controversial advertisement is almost guaranteed to get people talking about your brand. Whether or not you like what they say is another issue.

Should a brand create controversy on purpose?

Balance is the key to successful marketing.

There’s a thin line between making your audience feel special and creating a negative impression.

This line is easier to cross before it’s too far gone.

The ultimate goal of the brand campaign and the company behind the advertisement will determine whether or not the ad crosses that line.

Consider these factors when deciding if your brand is ready to venture into controversial waters.

Know yourself well

You need to be very familiar with your target audience and their reactions to certain things to minimize the risk that you will run an ad campaign against the grain.

Be bold

Think about how you would react if your attempt at going against the norm didn’t work out. Backtracking is often the worst thing you can do when an eye-catching ad fails.

Smartly use your time.

Certain industries thrive off controversy. Fashion is a great example.

You have to wait for the right time.

Controversy also works better for large brands who can afford to shock some people.

Big brands are able to forgive mistakes because they have a larger, more established audience.

Small businesses may have a harder time recovering, particularly if they are still trying to find their target market.

AControversial ads can be an excellent way to draw attention to your company.

It’s a risk nonetheless, particularly if your business is small or still trying to find its feet.

You can use calculated risks to help you build your brand, but they should be carefully considered.

Advertisements that are controversial and work

The right controversial ads can be a real home run.

Here are some notable examples of ads that went against the grain and made waves.

1. Nike: Dream Crazy

Colin Kaepernick, who kneeled during the National Anthem of the NFL 2016 season, became a highly controversial figure.

But he did it to make a statement against racism. Kaepernick’s football career was pretty much over after that decision. However, many people still admired him for his courage and his forthrightness.

Nike’s Dream Crazy Campaign was designed to show support for athletes who are working hard to achieve their dreams.

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