Can reverse psychology be used in marketing?

Brilliant marketing is the brainchild of a brilliant marketer. Makes sense…doesn’t it? It’s usually the controversial, funny-bordering-on-offensive, and downright confusing marketing campaigns that force audiences to stop and say: “Wow, that’s clever!” 

Reverse psychology in marketing works because it gets people talking, and no matter how smart our marketing tools get, word of mouth is still exceptionally powerful.

We mentioned brilliant marketing is the result of brilliant marketers – because to pull reverse psychology advertising off, you need to analyse the prospective noise you’re about to create so you don’t actually offend, alienate, or annoy your customers. 

Reverse psychology advertising can be fun and engaging – can you pull it off?

DO hold back information

Riddles and teasers can be fun and they’re super effective at building excitement. Holding back information or releasing it in small bursts is a brilliant technique for product launches, upcoming events, and more. 

DON’T conceal or twist information

It’s best not to fib about your product or service. This could lead to people buying into your product under false pretences – not OK! And if you do want to build hype and carry the conversation – make it relevant. Remember when J. K. Rowling revealed the sexuality of two Harry Potter characters?

DO poke fun at your brand

Poking fun at your brand by dredging upon popular customer complaints can have a strangely positive effect. It lets your customers know you acknowledge your weaknesses and that you’re prepared to have a conversation about them – while remaining light-hearted and open. Adding a splash of humour also helps if your brand lands at the helm of an argument – just ask Aldi’s lookalike chocolate caterpillar cake

DON’T make customers question your brand

There’s a fine line between having a little laugh about your brand and putting customers off entirely. If you’re confident that your product or service is worth the price tag, is of good quality, etc… then invite the banter. For example – a local coffee shop penned an A-Board inviting customers in to `try the worst coffee a woman on Tripadvisor has ever had in her life`. We’re guessing this review was unusually negative, hence the challenge to come in and try it. Just be careful what you open up – that’s all we’re saying!

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Image used – Wikimedia Commons