Graeme Newell

Best Television Ads: Lessons from the Branding Master Charlie Sheen

Who would have thought? Charlie Sheen has become the darling of Madison Avenue.  Everyone thought he was headed for the same celebrity flameout so common to Hollywood, but Charlie has turned bad behavior into an entirely new brand for himself.

In this three-minute marketing lesson video, emotional marketing expert Graeme Newell takes us through some of Charlie Sheen’s most recent advertising hits and shows how great brands don’t shy away from criticism, but step boldly into it.

Charlie Sheen’s drug-fueled tirades are famous, but instead of running from controversy, he has skillfully made himself into a caricature of his own bad behavior.  He has taken positioning a brand to a whole new level.

Rehab and house arrest have become a badge of honor for this celebrated bad boy. Charlie Sheen has proclaimed and relished his downfall. By stepping boldly into his own stereotype, Charlie Sheen endears himself to the audience. Charlie Sheen can teach us a lot about marketing.

When positioning a brand, great products don’t hide from stereotypes, they step boldly into them.  Post Shredded Wheat proudly proclaims that it is the boring cereal. Hulu promises to rot your brain with mindless TV.  Johnny Walker scotch is only for arrogant self-obsessed power brokers.  So remember, follow the wise counsel of that master marketer, Charlie Sheen.  If there are criticisms or stereotypes about your brand, don’t shy away from them.  Instead, blow them way out of proportion and shamelessly parade them for all to see.

The best advertising campaigns know that any publicity is good publicity.  The best television ads are ones that catch on to the buzz that is on people’s tongues right now.  When asking yourself, what is customer focus?  Remember to take a good hard look at the bad things that people say about your product.  What is customer relationship marketing?  It’s building an unself-conscious brand that can poke fun at itself.  That’s a hallmark of the best television ads.

602 Communications president and keynote speaker Graeme Newell shows how the best advertising campaigns can be built around embarrassment and shame, but only if your product has the discipline to embrace all of its flaws and stereotypes.  When you understand that positioning a brand requires great courage, then you can count yourself as one of the best advertising campaigns

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