Hunter S. Thompson once said, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
In the modern era of marketing, weirdness has value. If you are a new brand trying to make yourself memorable in the eyes of potential customers, or an old brand with an image problem, weird can be good. Strange content campaigns are, often, memorable ones. Here are five brands that have done weird well.
Old Spice realized it had an image problem. Younger consumers perceived Old Spice as the deodorant of their fathers or grandfathers. To compete with newer brands, Old Spice began running campaigns that parodied their competitors. Now, they have released what may be their strangest campaign ever with “Mom Song.” In the ad, moms stalk and sing about their sons, lamenting that because of Old Spice, their sons have grown up too fast.
Southern Comfort faces the challenge of trying to sell down-market liquor in an increasingly competitive market. To differentiate themselves, they’ve released their “Whatever’s Comfortable” series. In this video, a long-haired Danny Trejo-type does karate moves in a salon filled with women sitting in rapt attention.
On its way to grossing over 100 million dollars at the box office, Anchorman 2 created a particularly memorable ad campaign. Anchorman 2 utilized their weirdest asset, Will Ferrell, the star of the film. Ferrell went around the country making appearances as his character from the film, Ron Burgundy, on local news broadcasts, ESPN, car commercials, and live appearances to drum up interest in the movie. Many of the appearances went viral providing extra publicity for the film.
Rio Mints, a Hong Kong Based company, released this ad which features a puppet licking a man’s nipple. The ad has made international news and has gone viral far beyond its intended target area of Hong Kong.
Jeppson’s Malort, a liquor manufactured in Chicago, tastes disgusting. Malort’s ad campaigns have fully embraced the product’s off-putting taste. With ads like “When You Need to Unfriend Someone in Person,” Malort seeks to separate itself from the pack, and assert its own identity.