The current generation of consumers is unlike any other. Generation Y does not know how to handle positive reinforcement, and most of us respond best to negative criticism. We are fine with product placement — but do not tell us what to buy. It’s about time major corporations grasped this strategy as a way of communication.
Kraft Foods launched a Miracle Whip campaign Tuesday that embodies both sides. The advertisements embrace argumentation, blast their product, and then ask the consumer to judge for themselves.
The results have been overwhelmingly positive: lovers currently outweigh haters nine to one.
And to top it off, Gen-Y superstar Pauly D from MTV’s “Jersey Shore” makes several appearances throughout the campaign.
Kraft created a campaign using social media as a forum for its debate. On Miracle Whip’s YouTube page, consumers can share their testimonials of the product. Users can also request a free sample of the “not so mayo” sandwich spread.
On its Facebook page, Miracle Whip asks lovers to share their love of the spread in exchange for a coupon.
But Kraft isn’t the first to use criticism as a means of advertisement.
Domino’s Pizza has been using this tactic for months now. Its campaign features photos of visually unsatisfying pizzas (sent in by consumers), focus groups that blast its former pizza recipe and commercials of hunted-down consumers trying its new pizza.
As a result, Domino’s Pizza stock continues to rise, growing from its lowest point in over a year from $10.29 (June 2010), to its highest point just a few days ago at $17.55.
Thus far, Miracle Whip’s social media campaign allows the company to gauge its consumers for next to nothing, cost-wise. Plus, the two-way communication created from the campaign allows its patrons to be heard.
Public relations practitioners should take note of the success of Kraft and Domino’s. We are trained to toot our own horn. Kraft and Domino’s, however, are letting their customers do it for them. This strategy creates a more credible brand, reinforcing their reputations for quality. Most importantly, their clients feel like they matter.
What other brands have used unconventional tactics as a way to increase sales?