Effective Negative Marketing

b2ap3_thumbnail_Blog--Unusual-PublicityCould you get away with not only insulting your customer base, but teasing them as well?

Carrot can.

An article run late January by LifeHacker detailed “The Most Sadistic Apps That Force You to Get Stuff Done”. One of the many apps was called Carrot, featuring a less-than-polite personality that snarks and derides you when you don’t complete your to-do-lists.

But the article, while interesting, and the promotional video, while engaging, isn’t what I wanted to point out today. Instead I wanted to show you how when you stick to a branding concept it starts to work out.  In the comments section of the article “Carrot” replied:

“Greetings, meatbags. Make sure to watch my launch trailer (http://youtu.be/VHFMfTc4nAU) or you will make me upset. You do NOT want to make me upset.

As reward, here is a promo code for you to fight over: http://tokn.co/66xt967g”
That’s right a single discount to a single person, sending the ‘meatbags’ scrambling over themselves to cash it in.  Did this insult people? No, it actually engaged people and started a conversation. That’s because Carrot’s developers and marketers understand the power to sticking to a concept.

Polite thanks and an special offer would have been fine here, but it wouldn’t have made the brand impact that these colorful replied made. So yes, there are times where being utterly controversial or counter-cultural will work. If you stick true to your brand.

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