Graeme Newell

negative marketing & negative branding: the top four ad villains

They are the people we love to hate – the daily villains who irritate, nag and bother us. Smart marketers have learned that nothing makes consumers feel better than to ridicule these annoying tormenters who make life hard.

In this three-minute emotional marketing lesson video, emotional marketing expert Graeme Newell introduces us to advertising’s most powerful villains, and shows how to form a bond with customers by commiserating about their daily pain.

They are the people we love to hate – the daily villains who irritate, nag and bother us. Smart marketers have learned that nothing makes consumers feel better than to ridicule these annoying tormenters who make life hard. This variety of “negative marketing” or “negative branding” is one of the most effective ways to show your customers that you get them, and feel the same things that they do.

The benefits of negative marketing

Negative marketing is marketing that taps into the darkest emotions that humans feel. Rage, jealousy and disdain are all staples of negative marketing, and they work very well. The format of most negative marketing is simple: identify something that the customers hate, and ridicule the hell out of it. By honing in on these negative emotions and showing that you are just like the customer in your loathing for whatever it is they also hate, your brand can transcend from being a simple product to being an entity that really “gets” the customer. But remember, just like with all negativity, it’s best to temper the fury with a touch of humor to make it more palatable

What makes a good advertising villain?

When attempting to do some negative branding using villains, you first must identify what sort of person is going to be best suited for the nefarious role. The key is to hone in on those that cause the most agony on a daily basis to the viewer. So, without further ado, the top 4 best negative marketing villains!

Negative Marketing with Coworkers

They’re the people you’re stuck with day-in and day-out, and negative branding loves to use this group as a subject of ridicule. This is especially good for achiever-type viewers who see themselves as superior to their coworkers – a great chance for negative branding to shine

Negative Marketing with Wives and Girlfriends

They say there’s a fine line between love and hate, and anyone in a lengthy relationship knows just how true those words are. Negative marketing can be used here to make men feel good about themselves by knocking their wives and girlfriends down a few pegs

Negative Marketing with The Doubters

Reality sucks. We all have big dreams and revolutionary ideas, but they always get shot down by the doubters. Negative marketing shows them who the boss is by shoving success in their faces.

Negative Marketing Bosses

Let’s be honest, this didn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Bosses are the ultimate subject of ridicule in negative branding and negative marketing in general. It’s a fantastic system, because no matter how high up the corporate ladder one is, there’s usually at least one person above.

Recap

  • Negative marketing relies on ridiculing villains to show customers that they “get” them and are like them.
  • Negative branding is accomplished by boldly stating that you hate the same stuff that your customers do
  • Skewer coworkers when aiming to score points with the smart and success-driven crowd
  • Ridicule wives and girlfriends for some easy likeability from your male viewers, but don’t forget to soften it with humor.
  • Nobody likes a skeptic, and negative branding works wonders here if you can empower egos by showing success against all odds.
  • When in doubt, trash-talk the boss. The nice thing about the way power works is that essentially everyone has a boss, and who likes being bossed around anyway?

Transcription text of the 3-Minute Emotional Marketing Lesson Video ” Negative Marketing & Negative Branding: The Top Four Ad Villains” by Graeme Newell, emotional marketing researcher, emotional marketing speaker and customer loyalty researcher, and consultant at 602 Communications.

Hi I’m Graeme Newell. Today I’m counting ‘em down! The four types of villains that appear in advertising the most.

Because if you’re gonna tell a great story…

“I must be the one to kill Harry Potter”

…you gotta have a great villain.

Nothing makes a hero look quite as good…

“It’s simple: kill the batman”

…as a villain who’s super bad.

“Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts”

So what makes a great villain in advertising?

You want to look for the everyday people who cause your customers the most pain on a daily basis.

Coming in at #4, they’re the random group of people we’re forced to spend time with each day…our coworkers.

“It can be hard to know when you need a new job as a rule if you hate going to work every day it may be time. If you hate going to work and your coworkers don’t respect you hey dummy it may be time. If you hate going to work and your coworkers don’t respect you hey dummy and you always wish you were somewhere else it may be time. If you hate going to work, no one respects you hey dummy, you wish you were somewhere else, you cry constantly, and you daydream of punching small animals oh dear, it may be time.. If you hate going to work, no one respects you hey dummy, you wish you were somewhere else, you cry constantly, you daydream of punching small animals, and you sit next to this guy, it may be time. If you make loads of money it’s gold, it may not be time. But if you hate going to work, no one respects you hey dummy, you wish you were somewhere else, you cry constantly, you daydream of punching small animals, and you sit next to this guy. It’s probably time, as a rule.

The next great class of ad villain?

Coming in at number three, it’s wives and girlfriends!

“This is a really special day, yea it is Evan, Steven. Oh, I’m so sorry, Evan was my ex-boyfriend, we’ve been here before, I don’t know what I’m thinking”

Coming in at number two in the greatest ad villains, it’s the doubters. They didn’t believe in you. They held you down. Justin Bieber built an entire world tour and this movie trailer based on this villain type.

“There’s gonna be times when people tell you you can’t live your dreams. This is what I tell them, never say never!”

And now ladies and gentlemen, I give you the number one villain in commercials. Hands down, it’s bosses.

“How was your weekend Davis? Actually sir I spent most of mine here, I had an idea to hide bud-lights all around the office, you know, give the employees a little morale booster. Hm”

Bosses in these ads are attacked, abused and defeated. By demeaning this authority figure, advertisers make customers feel more powerful.

“I guess the savages didn’t find all of them”

This feeling of power is what makes marketing with villains so effective. Show your customers that you understand their pain and that your brand believes in everyday heroes who overcome…just like them. I’m Graeme Newell and that’s emotional marketing.

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