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However hard you try, not everyone will like you.
This is a lesson most of us learn in our early school days, no matter how witty charming or polite you believe yourself to be, some people just won’t like the look of your face.
The same goes for the world of business, even the most popular of brands will have its haters, but it’s how you deal with these consumers that counts.
This is particularly relevant to those brands which sit on the love/it hate it line, the most famous of which is Marmite, the yeast extract spread that people either seem to completely adore or detest.
It was Marmite which was one of the first to openly insult its own brand, acknowledging the fact that the product tends to split a room. It has been a remarkable success, but apart from a few notable exceptions – including the ill-fated Fanta light – it has pretty much been alone in openly bashing its own brand, until now.
Go Compare, the insurance comparison website famous for the irritating operatic spokesperson that fronts its advertising campaign has begun a campaign of what people are calling ‘self-brandalism’.
The fictional character of Gio Compario with his irksome but catchy songs about comparing insurance providers hasn’t so much divided opinion as much as he has unified the entire nation against him. This is why Go Compare has decided it’s time to take the side of the consumer and graffiti insults their own ads.
These billboards scattered throughout the country are a great example of how a brand can embrace negativity and turn it around to their advantage. I believe this is a lesson that we can all learn from in PR.
Of course we know that it’s important to concentrate on the positive, but by ignoring the critics we are potentially missing out an opportunity to engage with and possibly convert non-believers to your brand. So go on, be brave and embrace the hate, what’s the worst that could happen?