The Boom of ‘Sadvertising’: Why is Social Good Marketing Working?

by Garreth Dickson on July 18, 2014

Before, advertising was a simple thing. Marketers would jazz up client’s products, and pitch the consumers. It was either a make it or break it possibility. People would either love it or leave it. Now however, things have changed. Advertisers are turning to desperation and making us actually care. No more simplistic sales pitches. Now we need to get those tear jerking, heart warming stories to really make a product shine.

The Campaign in All Our Minds 

There is one advertising campaign that is being seen everywhere. The #LikeaGirl campaign. It is popping up all over social media, bloggers are getting involved, and it is just downright everywhere. Even here now. It is meaningful marketing. Marketing that is making a difference, not only on the pockets of the CEO’s but on the lives of all of us.

It opens our eyes and it opens our wallets. We love that it is making people rethink the phrase, like a girl, but at the same time it starts off mocking girls. Sadvertising.

The Sudden Shift 

This is becoming the norm in the advertising industry. Advertisers are doing everything they can to get their products to stick in our heads. They are manipulating our emotions and they are doing it well. Why are they doing this? Because it is working. Always’ #LikeaGirl campaign has reached over 30m views on Youtube, while the Dove Real Beauty Sketches campaign has reached over 60m on Youtube. Sadvertising works; and it works good.

Web based advertising is done a whole new way than what we’d see on television. They have more opportunity to touch us and really stick in our minds. If it didn’t work the first time around, the hundred other times it pops up in our social feeds it is bound to. Sadvertising isn’t the first to play our emotions to make us remember a product. Beer companies have used humour, others have shocked us. The only shift is that now companies are turning to what they know we as human beings want to fix and inputting that in their advertising. Manipulation of the soul.

A Round of Applause?  

Branding experts all across the globe are applauding this move. Sure, it is better for these multi billion dollar companies to help raise awareness about social separation than waste time pushing another product down our throats. They are using their finances to give the small guys a voice; but is manipulating our emotions the key way to get more sales?

“The subject has to have some kind of connection to the thing that you make,” says Andre Laurentino, global executive creative director for Unilever at Ogilvy & Mather, the advertising group behind Dove’s Inner Beauty campaign. As with Always, the link between women’s self-esteem and the beauty industry fits naturally: “If we were to talk about any other subject that wasn’t related to what we actually do, then it wouldn’t hold … you would lack legitimacy,” Laurentino adds.

Always was smart with their campaign. A lot of advertisers are wising up with the sudden shift in the advertising industry. Sadly, at the end of the day the reality is; these advertising campaigns are to make more money and t0 stick in our minds. People don’t buy a product if they don’t know a product. Sadvertising is the new wave of advertising manipulation; and it is working great.

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