I’m not an advocate of negative marketing, but after reading the story "United Breaks Guitars" a Smash Hit on YouTube! (as reported on MSNBC) http://tiny.cc/4NRaN , a contentious thought came to mind - that there could be ‘a gap in the market’ for a new marketing career path - namely sabotage marketing !
Don’t buy it huh, well hear me out…..
1.In the above case United Airlines get lots of coverage and can use it to show how they will learn and improve, and Dave Carroll (the inconvenienced customer) will get some belated compensation.
2.After all we have recently seen a number of cases of very smart and highly impactful ‘crisis management/turnarounds’ to handle negative publicity following inappropriate staff behavior at Domino’s (as reported on Fox) http://tiny.cc/quWZx and a chicken shortage at KFC http://tiny.cc/LpDQq
3.Although I’m not suggesting it was a premeditated strategy in the above examples, the results are impressive. What would stop a brand thinking ‘aha’ perhaps we ‘stage’ a negative experience as a way to build a viral ‘turnaround’ story.
4.That’s why I argue that there’s a gap in the market for the ‘sabotage marketer’, their sole job would be to actively and purposefully stuff up - and yes annoy consumers!
For those inclined - some sabotage marketing tips:
a)have a ready made press release, b) get your CEO Youtube response recorded, and of course - c) your Twitter apology posted, and d) fingers crossed either Wolf Blitzer or Anderson Cooper cover you on CNN.
Typing the phrase ‘sabotage marketing’ into your search engine produces descriptions not as extreme as the way described in point 4 above…..but you never know, so keep your eyes peeled and let me know if you find any concrete examples.