This week, all hell has broken loose in England over a simple TV commercial. Okay, that might be a little overstated, but there’s certainly been controversy. The ad has had over 350 000 online views in a week, and I thought you might like to see it too.
It’s a case study in how advertising for a brand that’s often taken for granted can provoke strong emotional responses. But that doesn’t mean they’re all positive.
Research showed that while most Brits have Marmite in their kitchen cupboards, many of them hadn’t opened the jar in the last three months. So they created this ad featuring a special rescue unit for neglected Marmite jars.
But it seems a sizeable portion of the dog-loving Brits have lost their sense of humour. The British Advertising Standards Authority has received roughly 400 complaints and detractors deride the TV commercial for being “deeply offensive” and “trivialising the neglect of children and animals”. Marketing Week’s online poll showed that 14.1% of respondents hated the ad.
On the other hand, 85.5% loved it. As a marketer, I have to like the odds. If only 0.1% were unmoved by the ad, they’ve done something right. And since Marmite’s pay-off line is “Love it or hate it”, the response certainly aligns with the brand positioning.
What you do think?
Would you risk offending 14% of your target market if it meant that everyone else thought the ad was great?
I may have a warped sense of humour, but I love the ad. And I believe it will work for Marmite. Love it or hate it, no-one is ignoring it.