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When Is an Ad Not an Ad? When It’s a PR Stunt

Trends and Insight 82 Add to collection

Impero's Michael Scantlebury reacts to Bicky Burger's deplorable Facebook ad

When Is an Ad Not an Ad? When It’s a PR Stunt

The reactions to the withdrawn Bicky Burger Facebook ad are gaining traction in the UK press, so while contemptible in execution (a man punching a woman in the face for giving him a fake burger), there’s actually so much wrong with the ad outside of the content, we must ask why an unknown QSR would produce such an ad?

Michael Scantlebury, creative director and founder of Impero, has some thoughts…

These guys played you. The reason they created this ad was to get a reaction. They got it. Now we're all talking about a burger bar we had never heard of. It's using the culture of outrage against itself. The same thing happened a couple of years back with the 'are you beach body ready?' campaign – it caused an absolute outrage… but the company sold more weight loss products than it ever had. The army’s 'snowflakes' ad got so many people talking about it and is one of their most successful ads to date, with almost double the applications.

We live in a culture of outrage, everyone is outraged at everything, all the time. Newspapers write every second word in CAPITALS and dinner parties are ruined if two people disagree on a political spectrum. Fair enough, we should probably be constantly outraged. Maybe that's the cost of progressive change. And let’s be clear, nobody should ever publish an ad of a woman being hit by a man or vice versa. But because publishers need clicks, and advertisers need impressions (or at least think they do) it does give brands willing to stretch the 'all PR is good PR' method to its limit in a proven way to get publicity. Because here we are discussing it. 

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Impero, Thu, 17 Oct 2019 16:34:52 GMT