Causing A Stir With Provocative Marketing

May 29, 2015

Earlier this month, everyone was talking about Channel 4’s series of adverts that promoted a new brand by the name of ‘Persona Synthetics’ – human-like robots that assist with household chores. The advert claimed that they’d be available to buy soon, with a store opening on Regent Street and an actual website where you could order your very own robo-servant for a mere £20,000. And, while we all know it turned out to be little more than a promotional campaign for the Channel 4 drama Humans, the stir that this well-thought-out campaign created certainly got us marketers thinking.

According to Channel 4’s head of marketing James Walker, brands shouldn’t shy away from promoting their products or services gradually over long periods of time. It’s all about drip-feed marketing, creating layered campaigns to make people think and absorb the brand, rather than firing marketing messages their way and thinking they’re going to buy into it immediately.

Walker claims that, as marketers, it’s never too early to talk about something. Taking creative risks and being bold with marketing is the way to get people talking – if not, they’ll look elsewhere.

And they’re not the only brand to cause a stir in recent years. Brands are increasingly jumping on the spoof bandwagon on April Fools’ Day. One year, for example, Metro claimed to have launched the first edible newspaper, while coffee chain Caffe Nero said that it was bringing out a ‘scratch and sniff’ app, where users could smell the various coffees on offer in their outlets!

But surely we don’t need to wait a whole 10 months until April 1st to create a buzz? How do you ensure your brand gets noticed – and remembered?

Images via Channel 4