How to create controversial ads?

Good advertising is one that establishes an emotional bond with the offering in the mind of the viewer. In many cases, while this is a risky approach, creating controversy instead might be a better strategy. For instance, the website hosting company GoDaddy makes outrageous commercials that television stations refuse to run. Just the controversy is good enough – in any case, the ads end up on YouTube. There is a similar ongoing campaign by Diesel in which the company is calling its clothes as “Global warming ready.” I find it somewhat disturbing since global warming is not something to be joked about, but the advertising strategy works for the company.

Nationwide, has done something very smart by hiring Kevin Federline to star in a commercial for them. When Britney Spears divorced Kevin Federline by sending a text message, he earned a lot of sympathy from people who thought he was treated poorly by his celebrity wife. Post-divorce, he also behaved while Britney partied sans underwear or blew money on men who materialized in her life out of nowhere. In other words, K-Fed, once he became Fed-Ex, became more “popular” in mainstream America, than say, George Clooney or Daniel Craig. So if restaurant owners and fast food workers criticize the ad and him for ridiculing them, even better for both. In summary, the strategy has paid off for both Nationwide and ex-Mr. Britney Spears.

Global warming gets real

I have written previously about those in denial about global warming. Here are a couple of interesting ways in which people are reacting to it.

    13% of Americans have never heard of global warming (despite the fact that we release the most greenhouse gases in the world), according to a recent survey. Just south of us, though, in Latin America, people are the most worried.
    Only 18% of the CEO’s in the US are concerned about global warming, while 40% of chief executives worldwide are. In China (49%), South Korea (60%), and Japan (70%), the top level management is very concerned about its impact on business.
    A group of evangelical Christians believe that global warming is “good,” and is a sign that Jesus Christ is returning. That is why no one should interfere with warming of the planet. The interesting theory is being pushed by one Frosty E. Hardiman (who is not some uneducated man in the middle of nowhere but is a computer consultant, who happens to be evangelical). While some Christian groups recently teamed up with scientists to fight global warming, most remain skeptical, and rather than being neutral about it, they are actually supporting such ridiculous theories.

On a more positive note, I applaud President George Bush for discussing the need for a new energy policy because the threat of climate change is real. ExxonMobil is also no longer denying global warming. Indeed, both are responding to overwhelming evidence in support of the fact that our planet is changing for worse. According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we can now say with 90% certainty that human-caused emissions are the main reason for global warming since 1950.

So what is your global warming strategy?