Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
18 December 2017
As a Groupon ad campaign says, “Oh shit!”
One look at our home page and you see Stealing Share remains unafraid of using words like shit. It’s the way people talk, man. And we’re not the only ones. Groupon sports a new ad that says, “Oh shit, I didn’t get a present for everybody. And they’ll be pissed.”
Now, the broadcast version says, “Oh Fudge,” reminiscent of Ralphie in The Christmas Story. (The movie, not the dull live broadcast from last night.) But the internet version uses the s word. The campaign targets those last-minute shoppers who realize they’re forgetting someone. We’ve all been there.
And what did we most likely say? “Oh shit!”
“Groupon’s brand isn’t built on such a strategy. But the point of the campaign bases itself on the emotion of that “Oh shit” moment.”
The use of vulgarity (if you want to call it that) is not something you should throw around like it’s the fix to everything. Don’t be like one of those comedians who use George Carlin’s 7 Dirty Words to make them sound edgy.
Use them sparingly, where appropriate and, in our case, where it fits the brand.
Groupon gets where “shit” fits
No, Stealing Share doesn’t employ a bunch of vulgar apes. But our brand builds on the idea (and truth) that the work of just about every brand company is shit. Their output is theoretical, producing pie charts that list about 50 things your brand is about. How is that actionable?
Groupon’s brand isn’t built on such a strategy. But the point of the campaign bases itself on the emotion of that “Oh shit” moment.
And haven’t we evolved past the point where using such a word shocks us? We live in the world of social media, streaming television and other outlets where those words appear without us even blinking. Ever watch an episode of Game of Thrones?
Maybe you make the argument that it shouldn’t be that way. OK, but in marketing you must align yourself with the forces that exist in the marketplace. You speak regular language, not something stiff or clever like someone wrote it from an ad agency on Madison Avenue.
No, you tap into the moment when you realize the brand firm you’re working with produces worthless material. Or when you realize, “Oh shit, I forget to buy Aunt Bessie a gift!”
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