by Dr Greg Chapman
Schadenfreude is a great German word meaning joy on hearing of an opponent’s misfortune. Can this be used in advertising? This following, rather cheeky, print ad was distributed to attendees at the Lord’s test match a few weeks back advertising Marmite as part of its promotion campaign for the ‘MarmyArmy’.
They handed out sandpaper with the headline “Love it or hate it, we won’t be tampering with it’ rubbing salt into the wounds of the Australian cricket team whose reputation is still suffering after the suspension of key plays after a ball tampering scandal.
No doubt that potentially a few thousand fans entering the grounds may have enjoyed the joke, but the real payoff for Marmite was from social media. (Here I am writing about it!)
There is probably no downside for Marmite with this campaign, and it’s probably a pretty low cost way for raising brand awareness, but targets of such Schadenfreude campaigns can backfire if the target is poorly chosen, or heaven forbid, or some scandal arises with your brand, and then schadenfreude really will kick in!
Can you think of some organisation whose misfortune is ripe for some mockery as a way of promoting your brand?
May Your Business Be –As You Plan it!
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Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success and Price: How You Can Charge More Without Losing Sales.
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