Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Marketing Risk

Old Spice commercial

Have you ever thought about taking a marketing risk but decided against it? Maybe it was because you didn’t want to spend the money. Maybe it was because no one else agreed with your idea. Or maybe it was because you were afraid it would fail. No matter the reason, sometimes it’s good to take a marketing risk. If it’s a success, you’ll have discovered a whole new way to reach people. If it’s not, you’ll have discovered an unsuccessful tactic and you’ll know not to try it again. Either way, you’ll learn something.

There are many times when companies choose to take a risk and succeed. For example: Back in 2010, Old Spice introduced the Old Spice Man and created a series of commercials that featured a fit, shirtless man telling viewers why their husbands or boyfriends should use Old Spice. Though the idea was risky because of its sex appeal, the company experienced more than 40 million views on YouTube and an 107% increase in body wash sales.

Another example is the company Dice. In this Forbes article, it tells the story of how the small business took another sex appeal risk by creating billboards with pictures of their employees in their underwear and styled them to mimic Calvin Klein underwear ads. While some probably though the move distasteful, many others found it humorous and the company received over 100 million impressions.

In 2012, Oreo introduced its “Daily Twist” campaign, which didn’t deal with sex appeal, but more with pictures of Oreos. Each day, the company colored or carved out an Oreo to celebrate a current event and then posted the picture on their social media networks. The campaign more than doubled their fan interaction – they saw a 280% increase in Facebook shares and a 510% increase in Twitter retweets.

Another food brand that took a marketing risk is Skittles. Back in the early 2000s, the brand invested $20 million in a new advertising campaign and created a slew of quirky, witty, and “magical” commercials. After the commercials gained in popularity, the brand launched an equally quirky Facebook page and Twitter account. Today, their Facebook page has over 24 million likes and their Twitter account has 286 thousand followers.

So in conclusion, don’t be afraid to take a marketing risk. If it fails, it fails, but if it’s a success, it could be quite a big success.

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