Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Controversy Sells

Controversy sells

Controversy sells newspapers, books, and movies. You can use controversy to sell your product, service or yourself. Notice how they do it in the movie business. The entertainment industry has lots of vivid lessons for marketers.

It could be as simple as the title that sells the movie. Consider the success of “Texas Chain Saw Massacre” or “Snakes on a Plane”. Both of those titles are vivid, graphic and controversial.

The sensitivity of the content could create enough success in a movie. Consider “Passion of the Christ” and “The Da Vinci Code”. There was little need to advertise those movies. The controversy did the all heavy lifting for promotion.

Along comes another movie with content guaranteed to raise controversy – “Death of a President”. To fan the flames the promoters not only print the usual supporting testimonial reviews – but the comments from the detractors as well. What delicious controversy.

And to tilt the readers’ perspective of the views they headed the positive views with the title, “Have seen Death of a President”. And on the other side the heading, “Have Not seen Death of a President.”

The controversy is both shaken and stirred by the strength of the negative comments as well as the sources.

Here are the negative ‘testimonials”.

Have Not seen Death of a President

“I think it’s DESIPCIABLE.”
Seantor Hillary Rodham Clinton

“I find this SHOCKING. I find this DISTRUBING.”
Gretchen Esell, Republican Party of Texas

“(Director Gabriel) Range is a SICKO.”
Rush Limbaugh

“We’re not commenting because IT DOSEN’T DIGNIFY A RESPONSE.”
Emily Lawrimore, White House Spokesperson


Powerful words from powerful people. Tough to buy endorsements like that. Like it or not those people endorsed the movie by polarizing the controversy. Imagine how many folks will watch the movie because of those powerful negative endorsements.


Controversy sells. Why? Because controversy is one technique for branding. Powerful branding declares both friends and enemies.

What people say against you can be powerful promotion.

George Torok
Power Marketing

1 comment:

Rafael M. M. said...

The controversy helps people to see what humam can do and how to respect the society values, but some people don´t like the controversy because they don´t like to be challenged by the others.
The humam grown up with controversy, they need controversy to think about many things and to be a better person when they know a lot of things.