Shocking People into Buying Your Product

It costs a lot of money to make a television commercial, and at its core what is a television advertisement? It’s a short piece of video designed to reinforce brand values and attachment, or possibly with any luck, to drive purchasing behavior. But there are other ways to distribute video now of course, other than buying time on the major networks or the hundreds of cable networks. And sometimes alternative methods of video distribution actually work better for some creative ideas than traditional media buys.

And what do you do when you have a product that isn’t necessarily that easy to advertise in the traditional ways, for example horror movies or ultra high-definition televisions?

Products that in your advertising that you might WANT to shock people, because they like that, in the case of horror movies. Or in the case of a tech product where people are reasonably happy with what they have, your might actually NEED to find a way to shock people in order them to perceive the incremental benefits of what you’re offering versus what they already have.

In the first case, the people behind the new Carrie movie set out to create a telekinetic café prank in New York City to promote the movie:

While in the case of ultra high-definition televisions, which let’s be honest, aren’t SOOOO much better than HDTV’s that people are camping out in front of the electronics retailers to get one. So, companies like LG are going to have to go to extreme lengths to highlight the incremental value delivered by an ultra high-definition television over an HDTV. LG decided to engage some of the public in shocking scenarios utilizing their product (and film the whole thing) to try and show not just the people involved in the pranks, but the rest of the world at the same time, the shocking visual clarity of their ultra high-definition televisions. A great creative strategy, and a smart value translation approach for their potential innovations.

Here is an LG elevator prank:

Here is an LG job interview prank from Latin America:

And finally here is another LG prank in the men’s restroom:

So, as you are thinking about advertising your own new products and services, think about whether or not buying media is the best way of distributing any video advertising you might want to create. And also think about whether or not you might need to shock people into buying your product or service because they believe their existing product or service is “good enough”?

And is your product or service better than the existing ones by a wide enough margin to make customers care?

Something to think about…

About Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker and workshop leader, helps companies build innovation cultures and infrastructures, and plan organizational changes that are more human and less overwhelming. He is the author of Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan and Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.
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One Response to Shocking People into Buying Your Product

  1. Shannon says:

    This is a pretty interesting idea and I can see it being very successful. Anything to get people’s attention since everyone is so bombarded by advertising constantly you have to do something to make people pay attention to you.

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