Please don't read this blog post ...
Several years ago, Patagonia caused an absolute frenzy of chatter when they ran an ad on Retail Black Friday, with the bold headline:
DON'T BUY THIS JACKET.
In the ad they pushed their customers instead to look at repairing their existing Patagonia products, and getting more wear out of them. Bang on brief as far as their values are concerned. They even sent trucks out into remote communities to repair Patagonia stuff, no matter how old, ragged, or rumpled it was. Just bring it in and we'll fix it. Free!
Cue whole new wave of customer re-delight as their old faithful comes back to life again.
(Watch a cool vid about their Worn Wear story here.)
The current market zeitgeist seems to have prompted brands to come out with less mercenary messaging.
Two examples that jump out include Uber and Dove.
In this TVC, heartwarming scenes of families in lockdown culminate in a simple super:
THANK YOU FOR NOT RIDING WITH UBER.
As for Dove, their beautifully elegant message starts with a question, When did you last wash your hands? Then says, Go On, in other words encouraging us not to watch their ad, but instead to go wash our hands. A countdown clock highlights the 20-second recommended rule, leading to yet another altruistic sign off:
WE DON'T CARE WHICH SOAP YOU USE. WE CARE THAT YOU CARE.
So three great examples of what I call non-marketing "anti-ads".
All employ reverse psychology really well, with the net result that of course the Patagonia ad sold its ass off. Time will show that they had a positive uptick on brand engagement and affinity.
It's the 'velvet rope outside the nightclub' approach. The more you can't get in, the more you want to get in. The more they push you away, the closer you want to get.
What examples of anti-ads have you spotted (or even created)? Would love to see your examples please.
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