Short But Not Sweet

Undoubtedly, many manipulative media techniques have been utilized to influence audience reactions. Intuitively, experts in this field should spend a lot of effort research on those techniques to make sure they will work as expected. However, it’s not always true. I have been convinced that sometimes a very simple but rude technique actually can shine. In other words, following the opposite of the trend is risky but it can bring some surprisingly positive results.

On 28 May 2011, a phenomenon in the advertising industry occurred in Vietnam. During the half-time break of the UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester United and Barcelona, the soccer channel broadcasted a video ad that excessively annoyed the majority of the audience. Since it was the only channel that broadcasted this game, this advertisement reached hundreds of thoudsands of soccer fans. The video just tried to advertise a water filter machine named Kangaroo. The special thing about it is that it is very short and monotonous. A voice says: “Kangaroo is the best water filter machine in Vietnam” and a loud pop follows. In addition, they keep repeating about 10 times. Luckily, we can still experience it via YouTube.

The losing team (Manchester United): “Cheer up! I will buy you the best water filter machine in Vietnam”.

Needless to say, it annoyed every single person who watched the soccer match. No one could enjoy a monotonous advertisement like that. The national television broadcaster received a huge number of complaints to take down the rude advertisement. However, they ended up keeping because it didn’t violate any law or rule.

Surprisingly, although people found it very annoying, the video has helped Kangaroo become a popular brand. “Kangaroo” became the most popular keyword that Vietnamese people searched for at that time. The company that makes Kangaroo saw a tremendous increase in sales. It seems that people have remembered Kangaroo now and were ready to check out the product. It was notorious but the important result was that it have become well-known.

After that, some companies tried to follow Kangaroo’s advertising way, however, they didn’t achieve any notable result. It does indicate that the “wow” factor played an important role in Kangaroo’s success. People actually found it annoyingly interesting at first and then became tired of it. It is understandable that people naturally become immunized against something that already wowed them.

Kangaroo’s success does tell us that the audience’s behavior are just hard to decode. They can react positively to something that they find annoying at first. We just have to keep trying to understand them better to influence their decisions.

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