Some of the greatest marketing campaigns tell a story. A story will help your target audience become more emotionally connected to your campaign, increasing the likelihood of them actually purchasing your product or service.

Having the correct impact on your audience requires that you observe several factors, including brand recognition, communication with your target audience, and promotion of your unique services. Combined with a story, these elements create an awesome combination for an ad that creates a viral stir in the digital world.

So, with all of this in mind, I wasn’t surprised that Gillette’s new “We Believe” campaign made a huge bang online. This controversial commercial flipped the script on Gillette’s traditional branding, and challenged their target audience with a new perspective on “masculine products.”

Let’s break down what this campaign did, and why so many people are talking about it right now.

The campaign

Known for the slogan, “The best a man can get,” Gillette created a new commercial that challenged their traditional branding by changing the slogan to, “The best men can be.” The commercial conveyed a theme surrounding what is known as “toxic masculinity,” an idea that encompasses negative attitudes towards bullying and misogyny in our society. This commercial immediately went viral, racking up global attention and conversation.

This was an unexpected change for Gillette. As a company whose target audience is almost exclusively men, the campaign is a bit of a gamble. In a one minute and 48 second commercial, Gillette changed the viewers’ perception of their brand, creating a new image with the assumed goal of potentially targeting a wider audience.

What works?

Regardless of the reactions that this campaign is producing, the commercial’s story is a recipe for viral digital marketing. By incorporating a topic that is currently highly relevant in society (i.e. toxic masculinity and the #metoo movement), this campaign portrays a relatable issue that will resonate with their target audience. Whether this reaction is negative or positive, this creates an impact.

The story itself furthers the viral success of the video through social media sharing and further conversation. To date, the video has accumulated over 5 million views within 48 hours, and there’s no sign of it stopping. The continuing comments, shares, likes, and even dislikes, pull more viewers towards the video, increasing Gillette’s brand awareness and their reach. With so many new eyes on their campaign, the potential for them to elevate their market, or even break into a new one, is high.

How can you incorporate Gillette’s tactics into your own marketing message?

 In the case of Gillette, they used a “hot topic” to further their message through a story that would have an impact on their audience. This is where the old adage “there’s no bad publicity” can come into play, as each impression furthers their brand messaging.

However, you don’t always need to make a controversial video to do this. I’ve found that timing and creativity are two key elements of kicking off an exceptional ad campaign. In order to do this, you must stay current with your marketing. Observe all of the trends, even if they aren’t specific to your market, and think of ways that you can weave the hot topics into your own marketing message. With the right angle and the right story, you can hit marketing gold!

Contact me today to learn more about how you can further your brand message and increase your reach.