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Canvas Edition 1 .pdf

Original filename: Canvas - Edition 1.pdf
Title: Canvas - Edition 1
Author: Bharadwaj Battaram

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6 OCTOBER 2011


Shock Marketing


How many shock volts can you handle?

Marketing is fun. Its making money
and everything else that matters while having
a blast. Marketing is a way of life. And we
in Marque, the marketing club of IIM
Rohtak, know it fully well.
Canvas is the Newsletter of Marque,
bringing to words and life the various
concepts put in practice and evolving in

"Shockvertising" is a way
to jolt our senses, to cause
an immediate reaction.
Shock is sometimes used by
marketers to grab the
attention of consumers
before applying the sales
pitch. Shocking titles,
pictures or actions never fail
to get the attention of an
audience. Think about the
last time you heard
something about any
business that made you look
up their website. In the
overflow of information
these days; how does your
business stand out?

business and the world. Each edition of
Canvas is based on a central theme from the
marketing world of today.
The first edition is all about Shock
Marketing. So, how many shock volts can
you handle?

While it can be an
effective tactic it is
important to
understand when to use
it and when not to.
-Matthew Bywater

- Bharadwaj Battaram

Sneak Peak
• Social Issues - Tanuj Goyal
• ROM Chocolate - Akshay Gupta
• Barnardo’s - Ankur Shukla
• United Colors of Benetton - Harsh Gupta




6 OCTOBER 2011

All social awareness campaigns can broadly be
divided into two categories –

the commercial spheres and has been in use for long

a) social malpractice
b) health problems caused due to negligent
behavior and/or bad habits

Shockvertising is widely used in lot of countries
for the promotion of anti-smoking initiatives. WHO
also suggests pictures of rotting lungs, miscarried
foetuses and bleeding brains should be put on all
tobacco packages because they are effective in
preventing tobacco use.

Any such campaign that aims at influencing a
prevalent social belief or a persistent behavior of an
individual must perform three important functions:
generate awareness about the consequences of these
practices/behaviors, persuade people to avoid these
behaviors and provide them support and guidance
for the same.
“How to draw the attention of the target
audiences so as to impart a long lasting impression
which in turn will lead to increased participation and
higher success?” is the question that arises. This is
where shock advertising gains importance.
Controversial by the very nature of it, shock
advertising makes deliberate use of blunt slogans,
provocative images and bold statements that
challenge conventional understanding of social order
and generally accepted norms thereby causing instant
attention. It’s a much exploited marketing strategy in

Due to the anxiety these ads tend to create there
remains a higher probability that the person
watching them will discuss it with others. This is
very important in the case of advertisements issued
in the interest of general public where the success of
a campaign solely depends upon the number of
persons to which the message could be delivered.

Stop domestic violence

- Tanuj Goyal
IIM Rohtak




of national ego and pride in the
Common sense would dictate Romanians.
that a marketing campaign
The marketing campaign
challenging the nationalist pride became a point of discussion
of your target market is not the
across the country, and the
best way to promote your
Romanians felt like they had lost
product. The marketing team at
a national symbol. A wave of
ROM Chocolate surely didn’t
patriotism swept through the
think so. And going by the
country, and citizens stood
immediate response to the
united to defend the Romanian
campaign, they sure got that
culture and their own flag. Flash
mobs, Facebook groups, Youtube
videos and debates on prime time
ROM Chocolate is a
television were organized to
Romanian chocolate bar, with
protest the change. Meanwhile, a
the Romanian flag on its
dedicated McCann team
packaging since its launch in
responded to comments posted
1964. This strategy had helped
online, and did their part to feed
them be the most popular
the debates.
chocolate in Romania till
recently, when it had started
losing its market share to
American brands such as
Snickers. Romania had been
going through political and
economic crises, and the morale
within the country was low. The
youth, especially, had started
looking up to everything
American, including their
chocolates, and the Romanian
association of ROM was
becoming quite meaningless in
this scenario.

ROM let this public outcry
continue for a week, before
informing the public that the
American ROM was actually a
hoax, and returning to the
market with the original ROM
packaging. Simultaneously, they
also launched a ROM Anthem in
Romanian to tap into the newly
rekindled patriotic passion. The
campaign was a resounding
success – within the first two
weeks, the campaign reached
67% of Romanians. It managed
to generate 300,000 Euros worth
Enter, McCann Erickson
of publicity without having to
Romania. Instead of trying to
pay a cent for it, and the number
fight the growing apathy of the
youth, they decided to join them. of fans of the ROM Facebook
page increased by 300%. ROM
ROM decided an overnight
went on the become Romania’s
change in their packaging.
most popular chocolate bar with
Instead of the Romanian flag,
a 79% increase in sales, and
their chocolate now had the
outperformed the market by
American flag on it. It was now
20% in the most relevant
advertised with a number of
taglines such as “The Taste of
Some would argue that ROM
Coolness”, “Let’s Build America
a step too far by testing the
Here”, “Patriotism Won’t Feed
a nation with their
You”, and “The American Dream
Indeed it was a huge
now in the Romanian
risk, and could have heavily
Chocolate”. The purpose of this
shock tactic was to instill a sense backfired. However, ROM went
ahead with it, and managed to
come out unscathed. They had


6 OCTOBER 2011
decided right from the start that
they would run the American
ROM for just a week, regardless
of the response, and then switch
back to the original packaging.
Also, it might be safe to assume
that McCann would have done
the analysis of the market before
launching a campaign of this
sort, which might have resulted
in the brand name getting
destroyed. Such a campaign
obviously might not have worked
in most other countries, where
the changing of the national flag
to the American flag might have
been seen as a political agenda.
So, it is essential that shock
marketing also be carried out in
an ethical, non-offensive and
professional manner.
Shock marketing is utilized
by a number of brands today, and
ROM, along with McCann
Erickson, has certainly taken
advantage of the Romanian pride
to reinvent their brand, and
customer loyalty to it. At the
same time, they also managed to
achieve a more substantial goal,
which no sales figures could
match up to. They managed to
unite the people of Romania
towards a common goal,
something that is hardly heard of
in today’s world. So, it is safe to
say that this marketing strategy
by ROM was one of shock and
awe, while containing a hidden
social agenda as well.
The icing on the cake for
ROM and McCann Erickson
Romania -.their campaign won
two Grand Prix awards at the
2011 Cannes Lions Festival of
Creativity. Also, the American
ROM was sold out, as a
Collector’s Edition item.
- Akshay Gupta
IIM Rohtak



6 OCTOBER 2011

This campaign included seven press advertisements
which depicted children in adult situations, such as a
baby injecting heroin, a toddler clutching a bottle of
whisky and another preparing to commit suicide. The
advertisements aimed to show what potentially
disastrous adulthoods await many of the disadvantaged
and vulnerable young people Barnardo's works with.
According to the copy, John is a 23 year old drug addict;
however, in the image a baby is shown, complete
contrast to portray the gravity of the situation.
In all the advertisements, there is a sharp contrast
between the child and the background. The child is
white in color and the background is dark and violent.
The objects like injections and bottle of whisky are used
to shock people and make them realize that these
children need their immediate help.

years Barnardo's was relatively
quiet about its new areas of
work, which resulted in low
public awareness of Barnardo's
and what we did. This
encouraged Barnardo's to reBarnardo's is a British charity think its approach and so they
founded by Thomas John
tasked the advertising agency
Barnardo in 1866, to care for
Bartle, Bogle & Hegarty (BBH)
vulnerable children and young
in 1998, with raising awareness
people. Barnardo's used to be a
and repositioning Barnardo's as
children’s charity famous for its
modern, relevant and deserving
orphanages, which in 1966 they
by bringing the public up-to-date
began to close. Over the next 30 with the vital work they do.

Almost 80 per cent of the
public in UK think it is
justifiable for charities to use
shock tactics in their advertising,
according to a survey by pollsters
YouGov. Eighty-two per cent said
shock tactics were acceptable if
they raised awareness of
domestic violence and 78 per
cent said the same was true of
child poverty.

“A good basic selling idea, involvement and relevancy, of course, are as important as ever, but in the advertising days of
today, unless you make yourself noticed and believed, you ain't got nothing”. Every day we come across hundreds of
advertisements which grab our attention. They have in them that one unexpected factor, that one difference, that
one little thing that sometimes takes us by surprise and is shocking to our senses.




6 OCTOBER 2011

The campaign is largely regarded as the charity's
most controversial print advertisement which was
banned by The Advertising Standards Authority. This
image of a newborn baby attracted a storm of
controversy, after another leading children's charity
claimed it was 'insulting to the very people they purport
to help'. However, Barnardo's stuck by its campaign to
raise awareness of how children born into poverty will
grow up to be living in squalor, addicted to alcohol or
drugs and be involved in crime.
Image of the cockroach is synonymous with the
concept of squalor in which the baby will develop. The
idea of cockroach was to shock people and to make them think
about what they can do to help children like the one used in this
advert. In the other poster, they incorporated a well
known saying into the campaign, if you were born with a
silver spoon in your mouth it means that you're spoilt
and given everything you want whereas the saying is
turned on its head 'There are no silver spoons for children
born into poverty'. The other items used in the campaigns
were newspaper adverts, broadsheet press and
methylated spirit bottle. The strengths of the campaigns
are the images used because it rea$y demonstrates the
seriousness of the topic and communicates the message we$.


The concept behind the ‘new
life’ campaign is that Barnardo’s
gives children a better start in life,
and therefore the chance of a better
future. Again in this campaign, they
have used visually stimulating
images. Quoting, Andrew Nebel, the
charity's director of fundraising,
marketing and communications, “I
can honestly say we were not trying to
shock for theatrical purposes. We were

seeking to make them unmissable.” The
parodying the concept of birth can
be offending for some. The advert of
a girl growing up being abused is
both visually shocking and
stimulating. The images of a girl
abused and looking at you with
hope, stir emotions in you and it
forces your senses to take some
steps. The issue of prostitution and
abuse of teenage girls is an issue
which has a very negative
connotation and the negative
emotions have been visually
captured and presented to shock the
viewers. The images make you feel
responsible for their plight if you
don’t take any steps to save them.
The step is to donate money to
Barnardo’s charity group

- Ankur Shukla
IIM Rohtak




6 OCTOBER 2011

Shock Marketing is a type of marketing that
“deliberately, rather than inadvertently, startles and
offends its audience by violating norms for social values
and personal ideals.”
This form of advertising is often controversial,
disturbing, explicit and may bring out provocative
political message; may not only offend but can frighten
as well; uses scare tactics and elements of fear to sell a
product or deliver a public service message, making a
“high impact.” It is often considered to have been
pioneered by Benetton, the Italian clothing retailers
which created the line United Colors of Benetton, and
its advertisements in the late 1980s.
Today, Benetton Group is present in 120 countries
around the world. Its retail network of 5,000
contemporary stores around the world, offers high
quality customer services and generates a total turnover
of over 1.9 billion euro. The group provides employment
to 7,987 people around the world.
Benetton’s intuitional campaigns carry a big idea, a
unique concept of showing shocking images to the
world. The idea behind using shocking images was an
effort by Benetton to breakthrough the complacency
that exists in our society. Removing these images from
their familiar contexts and putting them in a new
context, makes them more likely noticed, as the viewer

becomes involved in a process of answering the
questions: What does this image mean? Why does this
image appears with the Benetton logo? How do I feel
about the subject of the image? What can I do? When
images have shock value, they attract many people’s
attention. People are bound to think about the image in
the ad and thus know some of the world’s problems in
the process.
Benetton’s shocking ads are designed to raise public
awareness of social issues, issues that are global and
universal. Using shocking images people are forced to
think about the topic.
The ads only have an image that grabs audience
attention in just a glance and a logo. The company
carries out a single campaign that runs all over the
world. These ads do not tell anyone to buy company’s
products and don’t even imply it. Because Benetton's
clothes are sold around the world, the expenses incurred
to tailor campaigns to specific national markets would
have been enormous. To reduce these high costs, UCB
brings the world's markets together by using a single
advertisement that would appeal to many cultures, races,
religions, and lifestyles. The attempt is only to promote
discussion about issues which people might ignore if
presented to them through some other channel. Hence,
it is an advertising that speaks across all cultural
boundaries and raises social awareness by presenting
powerful human and universal themes.

Because the guidelines for acceptable advertisements vary throughout the world, Benetton's campaigns were
praised in some countries and damned in others. For example, a photograph of a priest and a nun kissing did not
produce the extreme outcry in the United States as it did in Vatican City.

- Harsh Gupta
IIM Rohtak




6 OCTOBER 2011

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