Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Should Ads Always Be Nice?

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Should Ads Always Be Nice?

Article excerpt

More than 100 people have complained to the ASA that MFI's 'family arguments' ads are overly aggressive. Should ads attempt to depict 'real life', or must they strive to be 'nice'?

DEBBIE KLEIN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, WCRS

Of course ads don't need to be 'nice' to be effective. But there's a world of possibility between being nice and being offensive. If you're trying to woo people into engaging with your brand, then insulting, or blatantly offending them, is unsurprisingly not good business practice.

Yes, there are examples of ads that have annoyed and irritated people and still worked well. But reflecting your audience as bad-tempered miseries, as MFI has, is not the best way to make people feel that you are the brand for them.

MFI may feel the publicity and hype mean the campaign is cutting through and working. But there is already enough content on television that gives you a headache without ads that do this, too.

SCOTT KNOX, MANAGING DIRECTOR, MCCA

In short, no. Just look at the attention MFI has already received for its current campaign. By avoiding the namby-pamby route, it has managed to make its audience sit up and take notice.

There are most definitely certain brands and causes that have to ensure their ads are effective, particularly in this day and age of Sky +, where the ability to fast-forward through the interval of a favourite programme means a viewer can often be reached only for a split second.

Of course, advertisers have to tread carefully and ensure that boundaries are not exploited, but often it's better to create an impact by teetering on that line than to treat your audience with kid gloves. …

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