Social Media is full of controversy – personal, political and business. What about posting a controversial advertisement? It could go one of two ways. For example, everyone remembers the Pepsi ad with Kendall Jenner. Hollywood Reporter columnist Miriam Bale wrote “The pulled commercial is the latest example of the white corporate world brazenly borrowing from black culture, and Jenner was precisely the wrong person to star in it.” Clearly this was not the mark that Pepsi was going for. But what happens when a brand puts out a controversial ad and it does exactly what they intended it to do?
Insert Nike’s Colin Kaepernick Ad. Even the question of did Nike intend for the reaction they got or did they create an additional ad to address the feedback they received in controversial. In my opinion they knew exactly what was going to happen and I think it’s genius. Here is a very short run down of what happened.
Nike posted the Colin Kaepernick Commercial on September 5th, 2018. Either you loved or hated the ad. A lot of people started filming themselves burning their Nike products and stating that they were going to boycott the brand. Now if an advertisement hits you so hard that you are burning the product you purchased for likely over $100 I would say it worked, wouldn’t you?
Some said it was a disaster and they didn’t know if Nike could recover from it. Then Nike did the most brilliant thing and posted burning instructions:
I believe the message that Nike was trying to send was – If you do not stand behind what we are saying, we do not want you wearing our product. It’s a bold move for sure but with everything that is going on in the world today, I think it’s an important one. As they say, all it takes is one person to have the courage to speak up for a change to start. Was this a direct message to President Trump? He had a lot to say about it, tweeting on September 5th “Just like the NFL, whose rating have gone WAY DOWN. Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts. I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way?”
The Guardian reported that Nike’s sales surged 31% just days after the ad was release. Nike’s CEO Mark Parker claimed “The ad led to record engagement for the brand.” Right there you have it – Record engagement. They hit their target audience (19 – 29), sales surged and had more engagement with their brand than ever before. This entire campaign is a great example how creating controversy on social media – if done right – can completely change how a brand is viewed and start a whole new conversation!
So, what other brands can you think of that this has worked for or failed for? If you were in this position would you take such a risk? How would you way out the risk factors? Let me know!
Twitter: Social Controversay – Good or bad? – https://bit.ly/2y8qd7A
Facebook – Nike – Just do It Safely – https://bit.ly/2y8qd7A