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About Provocative Marketing

Provocative Marketing: The Art of Surprising

Modern media space is oversaturated with advertising messages just like the streets of a metropolis with noise and rattle. Depending on the lifestyle in one day, a resident of Moscow receives from 500 to 2000 advertising messages from a variety of sources. In order to reach the consumer, advertising specialists have long waged a real war for the attention of the audience. Recently, a new type of weapon of mass destruction, provocative marketing, has been introduced into hostilities.

Partisans and provocations

Provocative marketing is a special type of event or even market positioning of companies, which differs from standard advertising technologies primarily by the unusual solutions. Some experts even identify provocative marketing as a special type of advertising that complements ATL and BTL events when they are ineffective or impossible due to official bans or legislation.

The main goal of provocative marketing is the same – to increase sales. Secondary goals are often tasks to increase brand awareness, ensure consumer loyalty, and stand out from the mass of competitors.

An event of provocative marketing, as a rule, includes a “seed”, attracting attention, a spectacular part and exposure. In some cases, the second component is missing.

Unlike traditional advertising, where there is a clear distinction between the main advertising media and clear interpretations of the main terms have already been developed, in provocative marketing the boundaries between technologies are still quite vague, and the terms themselves are often contradictory.

Sometimes provocative marketing is confused with guerrilla marketing, which is not entirely true – these two systems differ primarily in tasks and budget size. Initially, guerrilla marketing was conceived as a survival course for small firms forced to compete with large companies. The task of guerrilla marketing is to shout “cheaply and angrily”, while in provocative marketing events the main goal is a successful campaign, and budgets can be multimillion

Marina Gorkina, public relations consultant, business coach, curator of the Marina Gorkina PR School:

The task of a provocative PR (as well as provocative marketing and advertising) is to shock the audience, i.e. give her information that will not be forgotten for a long time, which I want to tell everyone about, convey in the form of rumors and gossip. However, the provocation will work, only in one case – if her idea is not beaten.
If the provocative idea “shoots”, then one contact with the consumer is enough for him to start transmitting the information received, as a rule, this is from three to ten people. As a result, it turns out that a competent provocative action is ten times more effective than traditional ones – experts call numbers from 20 to 100 times. Such positive aspects of provocative technologies are impressive.

Viruses in sundresses

The most important tool of advertisers-provocateurs is viral marketing – a technology that uses social networks to notify about a brand, product or service. The information received affects the person so much that he is “infected” with the idea of ​​distributing content and himself becomes an active relay. At the same time, viral content can take many forms – video, photos, flash games, even just text (for example, jokes).

Another technology of provocative marketing that is close to viral is word of mouth. The main working tool of word of mouth are rumors. At the same time, it is extremely important for advertising specialists that the rumors are “correct”. Each time, when planning a campaign, experts predict possible responses. Representatives of the agency, embedded in the crowd of witnesses of the event, can help the audience to the right wave. Such rumors are ideal for advertising products: people willingly believe their friends. In addition, it is quite cheap.

Yuniy Davydov, General Director of R & l GROUP Advertising Holding

The value of viral marketing lies in the fact that with its help you can quickly disseminate the necessary information on the principle of a computer virus (hence the name of the technology). Viral marketing is an excellent incubator for rumors, gives them the necessary scale and energy, and as a result generates word of mouth technology. Figuratively speaking, our task is to mold a small snowball and run it downhill in the right direction so that it itself soon turns into a huge snowball.

Sex and circuses

As Hitler once rushed to conquer living space for the German people, provocative marketing conquers living space in the most unexpected places. After hidden advertising was placed in films, talk shows, books, and even in popular songs, life itself remained the only unoccupied place for its placement.

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