Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mac's WTF Nun and Goat

Mac’s WTF nun with goat

Mac’s Convenience Stores came out with another bold marketing campaign to promote their new ice-drink WTF, but they blinked.

This time Mac’s Convenience Stores was promoting another ice-drink. Instead of Bloody Zit the new flavour was WTF. What the flavour?

Again Mac’s spoke directly to their target market – teens. And to Internet and text messaging teens WTF is code for What the F**k. Controversy is a powerful branding ingredient.

Good on Mac’s. A strong positioning that reaches their target audiences and ticks off those outside the target market – parents of teens.

Mac’s produced a poster for in-store display. The poster showed an image of the new WTF Froster cup floating in the air and surrounded by an angelic halo. The cup has the letters WTF on it. Below the Froster cup image was a nun on her knees clearly worshiping the magnificence of this angelic vision. Next to the nun was a goat.

I don’t understand the significance of the goat. But, the combination of the nun and the goat both worshipping the floating cup made me laugh.

Again Mac’s Convenience Stores hits a direct bull’s-eye with its target audience!

It this case the target is not just teens in general but more specifically teens at Catholic schools. Because, those teens already make jokes about the nuns at their schools and churches.

Once again Mac’s launched a great branding and viral marketing campaign. They knew their target market. They were bold. But this time something went wrong. Mac’s got cold feet. Within a week of launching this poster Mac’s killed the campaign. They pulled all the posters and any acknowledgement of the campaign period. Mac’s is pretending that their WTF Nun with goat poster never existed.

What happened? The folks at Mac’s already experienced negative feedback to their Bloody Zit promotion. So what part of the negative feedback this time surprised them? They had to know that this poster would offend parents, Catholics and other moral right wingers. Jerry Falwell is dead, thank god, so it was not him and his moral majority.

Kudos to Mac’s and its creative marketing folks. Shame on the Macs management for blinking. You had a good marketing idea. Let’s see how your target market rewards you for wimping out.


George Torok
Power Marketing

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