Brands must think of negatives before running edgy campaigns

In today’s cluttered media landscape, standing out hasbecome a challenge to even the biggest of brands.

Consumers have low attention spans and capturing them for enough time to remember who you are and what you stand for requires creativity and, in many cases, bravery.

Bravery to one man is folly to another with this in mind,  Hyundai recently made a massive mistake when trying to be controversial in an attempt to sell more cars.

Unfortunately, Hyundai chose the highly sensitive and easily offensive topic of suicide to convey the message that their cars have 100% water emissions.

They only had to search on Google for suicide + advertisements to see that Pepsi and General Motors have already got it wrong when trying this type of advertising:

If the advert was to get people talking about Hyundai, it had the right effect, especially when someone wrote an open letter criticising the advert and recalling how her own father had killed himself.

With the dominance of social media pervading our lives, Hyundai are now struggling to shut down every version of the advert on YouTube.

At Calacus, we ensure our clients are always well prepared for the consequences of anything they do and we guide them to ensure there are as few pitfalls as we can control.

To Hyundai’s credit, they immediately withdrew the advert and offered sympathy to the correspondent who had been so distressed by it.

By showing the public you are doing your utmost to try and rectify the problem, an organisation is more likely to recover swiftly, and how you respond to the crisis is often more important than the crisis itself.

But a good PR agency such as Calacus would have highlighted the potential problems before they arose, preventing the issue from occurring in the first place.

By Gemma Mejer