Can a ‘bad ad’ be good marketing?

Can a ‘bad ad’ be good marketing?

Without doubt one of the most often debated subjects in marketing is whether a bad ad or an irritating ad can be good for your brand and your company.

Just like the output of the music industry marketing messages are interpreted subjectively; what is wonderful to one person is anathema to another.

In our last blog post we wrote about the need to be different and stand out from the crowd.

Is the production of bad/cheesy/irritating ads just a manifestation of this difference? Well, yes it is but are these ‘so called’ bad ads effective? Lets looks at a few examples:

Effective Advertising – 3 Examples for bad advertising

1. Ferrero Rocher

The much-vaunted and much lampooned Ambassador’s Party ad for Ferrero Rocher from 1993 is perhaps the Daddy of all bad ads.

Ridiculed in the ad industry and used as source material for many comedic moments it has remained in the public consciousness ever since then.

There have been new executions but they have largely failed to resonate with the public consciousness in the same way that the Ambassador’s Party did.

Fine, but what did the ad achieve as part of an overall marketing mix for Ferrero Rocher?

It is often difficult to find actual sales figures for advertised products in the public domain for obvious reasons and also to identify the role of the advertising rather than the other elements of the marketing mix.

What is very clear is that the Italian family who owns the brand tried a new approach to advertising for the brand in 1999 but then reverted back to an Ambassador’s Party style execution in 2003.

That has to be one vote for bad ads being effective and therefore good for your brand.

2. Go

I’m pretty sure that if you live in the UK you will have seen the ads with the large opera singer (Gio Compario) popping up and imploring you to go compare car insurance prices on the site. In 2009 this was voted the most irritating ad by members of the public. Here’s the ad.,

So did it work? As you’ll see from the article below the original ad launched in August 2009 increased quote volumes by 20%.

Since then they’ve had more than two million insurance quotes each month.

Make that two votes for bad ads being effective and therefore good for your brand.

Here’s confirmation of Go’s place at the top of the public’s most annoying ads list for 2009.

3. YeoValley Farmyard Rappers

Bringing us up-to-date is the Yeo Valley Rap execution.

Despite what you may read it is not revolutionary to stage a light-hearted or jovial rap in a country or rural setting but it is a new direction for Yeo Valley and depending upon your sense of humour or familiarity with rap music it’s either very funny or very irritating. Watch it twice to see which camp you are in. Is it working as an ad?

Other farmyard Related Rap (if you’re curious)

Yes, it is working in terms of the amount of press coverage it is generating, particularly across social media and in reaching a new audience as this article explains:

It is too soon to assess the sales impact but advertising purists and marketing gurus may not like it but that makes three votes for a bad ad being effective and therefore good for the brand.

We hope you found this article useful.We are a leading Marketing Agency in London.

Kindest regards,

Marketing Fundamentals Team

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Founder of Marketing Fundamentals Ltd, Blogger, Author & Content Creator