Who said that “death” can not sell? Until recently, she was on the list of prohibited topics. People were afraid to even mention it, let alone use it as an advertising move. But times are changing, and today the femme fatale of the afterlife has become a popular character in the scripts of many advertising campaigns.
The current generation can hardly be called religious, however, today death rarely becomes the subject of ordinary conversation. The paradox is that the unspoken restrictions awaken even more interest of the public to the “lady in the black shroud”. Entrepreneurs have long played masterfully on this. Today, the subjects have acquired the scale of the world trend.
The Angel of Death is an ancient commerce engine
Despite all the prejudices, this is one of the old ways of promoting goods and services. At one time the postcard of the Victorian period did not cause a small stir around the goods of the Beeman’s shoe store.
Later, the image of death became so often used that it aroused public outrage. In 1996 Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) reported three taboos of advertising: death, religion and profanity. Of course, this does not mean that marketers have forever abandoned attempts to use the “forbidden fruit” in their projects. There will always be those who break the system and dictate new laws. So it happened.
Only direct references to death were banned, but nothing was said about mortality. It was the latter that became a loophole for advertisers. Already in 1997, the slogan of the next NatWest campaign (commercial bank of Great Britain), urging not to postpone their wishes for later, read: “After all, YOU LIVE ONLY ONCE.”
The fashion world also did not stand aside. By advertising new collections, designers every now and again turned to the plot of “a dead girl in a beautiful outfit.”
D & G
As Baz Lowther of the “Toy Story” said: “Infinity is not the limit!”. The “deadly trend” gradually took over more and more spheres.
In the end, at first only indirectly, and later directly, death became one of the steepest methods of promoting goods. How exactly?
“The Fatal Lady” excites the hearts of customers
The development of the subject of death is a vivid example of a client’s provocation. Regardless of the world view, any mention of death subconsciously causes an emotional reaction in a person, accordingly attracts attention. This is exactly what the stake in the creation of such projects is done. Experienced “sharks” of marketing for a long time already skillfully use this feature of the human psyche.
For example, if you want to sell a product / service with it, you can appeal to:
- the fact that a person’s life is short and it is necessary to take all the best from her;
- the importance of safety and health, giving priority to quality, not price;
Let’s consider concrete variants of realization of a world trend in modern business.
“Murderous” marketing. Examples
The “ABC of Death” Volvo
Advertising of automobile companies is a separate phenomenon of the world of marketing. The next was presented by Volvo in 2016. Manipulating the fatal outcome of heroes, they skillfully emphasize the advantages of a new brand of car.
In the story, all the characters are victims of an accident, only one “miraculously” rescues the automatic system to prevent emergencies of the new Volvo XC90.
Head Snowboards – “jump higher”
In 2007 Head Snowboards, which is engaged in the creation of professional equipment for fans of snowboarding, came up with an original way to present its next product.
As always, a minimum of words, beautiful nature, unexpected turn and witty denouement. Death can not withstand the quality of modern cars.
Another cool advertisement from the Hyundai car company, which was included in the collection of your favorite YouTube video. The company took care of its customers and thought out all the details and possible situations in order to protect the client from death.
The smell of death from the American Chemical Society
The community of American scientists has developed a universal remedy for protection from zombies – the fragrance “Eau De Death” with the smell of a decomposing body. The smell will deceive the hungry zombies, and you can avoid the sad finale.
Are you ready for a zombie apocalypse?
“Our product will outlive you” – McCann
The American advertising company McCann did not particularly bother with the idea of the project for the brand of sportswear Dirtwear and followed the example of Eastpak 1995, which in confirmation of the quality of their products depicted the skeleton of a tourist in the desert with a backpack of their brand on their back.
Gravity Anomaly’s slogan states that “you do not go to be caught by death in something else.”
Chevrolet deprives the work of death itself
McCann was so fond of the fatal theme that they created such a sarcastic plot for the company Chevrolet, in which the owners of Ciempre Contico became the nightmare of Death.
It’s beautiful to die. Superette
DDB New Zealand advertising agency presented the world with a “stylish death”. Thus, they ironically played at the desire of customers, for whom in life the style is above all. With the appeal of “Be Caught Dead In It”, they developed several scenarios where young guys and girls in branded clothes became victims of an accident.
“The funeral should look bright” Nishinihon Tenrei
Where else can we use plots with a fatal outcome, if not in the advertisement of the funeral home? But I & S BBDO designers decided to go against the rules and created a completely unexpected project for Nishinihon Tenrei: a skeleton made of human flowers in full growth on a white background. The poster won the One Show Design Merit Award and deserved is considered one of the best examples of modern marketing.
Success loves courageous, and these examples are a vivid confirmation. Do not be afraid to experiment, “blow up” your marketing with extraordinary ideas!