3 Controversial Marketing Campaigns That Nailed It

controversial marketing campaigns

Controversial marketing campaigns are risky, but if you get it right, these crusades can deliver phenomenal results. If you want to stand out in life as an entrepreneur, an influencer, a brand, or a celebrity, you can't play it safe all the time. It is advisable, however, to make sure you're generating the right kind of controversy to create a hype and get your target consumers excited about your brand. Negative discussion can produce a severe backlash, so get professional second and third opinions before taking the provocative path.

1. "Girls Don't Poop" by Poo-Pourri

Poo-Pourri is one of the best examples of exceptional branding. They made a hard-to-market odor-eliminating restroom spray fun, earning themselves over 41 million YouTube views in addition to an army of amused and engaged customers. "Girls Don't Poop" is goals when it comes to gathering the confidence to tackle taboo subjects head-on in a humorous and relatable way.

2. "Believe in Something" by Nike

Nike teamed up with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick after he refused to stand during the national anthem. Kaepernick chose to make a stand and not show pride in 'a country that oppresses black people and people of color' which caused huge controversy and split opinion. The campaign, though risky, proved hugely successful with Millenials and Gen Z consumers, prompting Nike's sales to increase by an impressive 31% as an aftereffect.

3. #WeAccept by Airbnb

The controversial topic of immigration and the Syrian refugee crisis incited the #WeAccept campaign, bringing a message of acceptance that we all belong, regardless of our sexuality, nationality, or religion. Airbnb used the ad to make a public commitment to helping provide short-term housing for those in need and received over 30,000 tweets within half an hour of the ad airing during the Super Bowl. Airbnb later reported that the ad provoked over 15,000 new volunteer signup, opening their homes to displaced people in need of help.

Would you consider incorporating controversial marketing campaigns for your business? Why? Tweet me @lorenridinger.