Brands taking risks on social media

My Mom Would HATE This: Brands Taking Risks

A while ago we shared a post with you about Developing a Brand Voice. In it we gave you some steps for knowing who you are as a brand and how to reach your target audience. The ultimate goal is to stay true to your core values and messaging while encouraging dialogue from your Fan base. But what else should you consider once you’ve developed your voice?

Take a Little Risk

I was recently looking through some of this year’s most successful commercials and social media campaigns and I kept thinking the same thing, “My mom would HATE this”. Messages such as Southern Comfort’s “Whatever’s Comfortable” that highlight greasy men wearing snake skin boots; risk totally alienating my mom and her demographic. Despite this, they have been captivating markets and creating huge followings.

Creating content that may be confusing or even considered a bit offensive to some that are outside of your core audience can be a good thing. Of course, you always want to entice those outside of your Fan base to enter your inner circle, but don’t be afraid be bold with your social media content as it could be the key to promoting brand loyalty.

Below are a couple of brands that have taken some risk. The payoff? They maintain a tremendous following and engaged communities.

Dollar Shave Club

My favorite commercials this year have been the promo videos for the Dollar Shave Club. Their videos highlight Mike-the attractive, witty, 20-something CEO- and grab attention with mildly offensive language, a bear mascot, and a simple message to allure men to their brand. And it WORKS. Their first video went viral and gained an incredible amount of success. Since then, the company also released a video promoting their “One Wipe Charlies: Butt Wipes for Men”.

But Dollar Shave Club doesn’t stop there. Their Twitter account connects on a daily basis with the people they want buying their blades-millennial guys. Crusty razors? Razors so old they draw blood? Not with Dollar Shave Club.

Crusty Razors

Old Razors


Red Bull

challenge yourself

Red Bull is another brand appealing to their specific audience while risking the interest of more general demographics. “Follow if you desire to be active and have a zest for life.” That’s Red Bull’s targeted audience in one, simple statement. Red Bull isn’t only purchased by people who break records in extreme sports or sky dive from outer space but Red Bull does market specifically to them. They know both the audience they want to be loyal to, as well as what they want to represent, and they nail it every time. If you’ve ever surfed, snowboarded, or really pushed your physical limits then watching a Red Bull commercial should resonate with you. Will it resonate with the guy spending his Saturday on the couch? Probably not…and that’s ok. They’ve effectively cultivated a connection with the Fan base they want and that Fan base has been loyal in return.

Risk Vs. Reward

Reaching new fans and appealing to a large demographic is crucial but don’t ignore the potential rewards of risking some of that appeal for your loyal fans. Take a few minutes to watch this “World of Red Bull” commercial, be inspired to step out of your social media comfort zone, and really connect with your fans.

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