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Are Commercials That Get Banned A Great Marketing Strategy?

Being Controversial Might Get You Banned

Over the past few months I have been seeing a lot of TV commercials being banned. Sometimes by the same repeat offenders who paid for that space previously. A good example of this practice is a restaurant franchise called Nandos that was founded here in my homeland South Africa. They have since expanded overseas to countries like the UK and Portugal. Anyway, they are consistently creating highly controversial commercials involving politicians, celebrities and current news affairs.

I sometimes see these commercials being broadcast on TV as they are launched but after a day or two, they tend to disappear although they were brilliant to say the least.

Although these commercials were getting banned and taken off pretty fast, the advertiser was coming back with more new controversial commercials that were likely to get banned again but they didn’t mind that happening and I’ll explain that in a second.

Before I continue, here a few funny banned commercials…

The Reason Why Getting Banned Is Good For Business

The reason why these companies don’t mind getting their commercials banned is simple… it’s called INSTANT AWARENESS! When something is controversial and gets banned, it gets people talking and implants the ad (brand in this case – Nandos) into their heads. And by having people talking on a certain subject that caught their attention, you get free advertising.

Believe it or not, this is one of the best advertising methods to use. Even after days and weeks of the commercial being taken off air, people will talk about it amongst themselves for days and believe me when I say that the brand (Nandos) that was marketed will stay in their minds for a long time to come.

Let me ask you a question?

How many times have you come across people that said… “Did you see that funny commercial during the news break?”

And the other person would say… “Yeah, how funny was that! Can’t believe they would show that on TV.”

“Can’t believe” means shock and astonishment that leads to free advertising. This type of controversial marketing has been used over and over again and the reason is because this works like a charm and sells the product like hot cakes. It doesn’t mean you need to get banned but you need to get the point out by using some controversial story in your marketing efforts.

If you aren’t using this method to market, your losing out big time and that is a fact!


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Justen Bethay
Justen Bethay

I think it's a good idea because as word of mouth travels about these banned commercials, people will look them up on YouTube and will have the brand ingrained in them more for not only the memorable ad, but for searching for it as well.

nelio26 moderator

@Justen Bethay Yes people always go to YouTube and the above video is a great example of that. The amount of views these videos get is insane.

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Great post! Love the banned commercials! I guess my only thought is that a company the size of Nandos can get away with it and create more brand awareness. Smaller start up ventures would probably go bust off the back of one banned ad! You are right though - controversy always sells.

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