How Advertisers Can Learn To Love Loathing: Let Consumers Rip Into Your Commercials

Seems that viewers have very little real hate for advertising. Sure they may say they don't like seeing any commercials -- or specific ones for say Chrysler, Sprint or the Disney movie "John Carter."

But what do they really do about this dislike? Fast-forward through a commercial with their DVRs? Flip to another network or station? (Old-school approach, for sure). But how often does hatred run so deep that consumers literally tear down an ad?

Recently, some U.K. soccer fans -- a group known for its emotional and ebullient support -- ripped down some in-stadium advertising. It seems those fans didn’t like the new name for a soccer park: Sports Direct Arena, named for U.K.-based sports retailer Sports Direct. They would have rather had the old name -- St. James Park -- so they spray-painted it on some walls. (Ah, there you have some engaged consumers!)



Since the dawn of time – or at least since the time of the first bit of billboard advertising -- mustaches and colorful language have been just some of the stuff added to posters and the like. That's a different kind of engagement.

In recent years, U.S. advertisers have encouraged consumers in social media areas to come up with their own commercials for the Super Bowl and other events. But outright loathing of existing TV advertising isn't always given a high profile here.

Digitally speaking, it's tough to see how consumers could do the same for television as what the U.K. soccer fans did to Sports Direct.

In that spirit, though, maybe for the next wave of social media consumer awareness, companies should start something new and different: a consumer campaign that says, "Rip Our Advertising, Right Here. Print Our Logo. Then Wail Away"? 

No worries. Hate is always a close relative of love.

1 comment about "How Advertisers Can Learn To Love Loathing: Let Consumers Rip Into Your Commercials ".
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  1. Casey Quinlan from Mighty Casey Media LLC, March 12, 2012 at 1:25 p.m.

    Engagement is much closer to hate than it is to indifference. Love is too, but the lovers are usually less vociferous than the haters. I think crowdsourcing ads is ultimately less productive than listening to the haters sharing their invective - when they tell you they hate you, you've got *plenty* of room for effecting positive change. Exact instructions, even =)

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