In this age of information overload, cutting through the clutter is not easy to do. Getting people to talk about your brand, visit your facebook page, tweet it, tell friends, recognize your ad, and even start their own facebook page about it, is a big success in this day and age. Right?! But what if a majority of those comments are about how disgusting they think your campaign is. Genius marketing move? or Recipe for disaster? Well it seems like the new Zicam “pre-cold” campaign is doing all those things.
The campaign features the “cold monster” a disgustingly memorable, blood shot eyed, crooked tooth, runny snot nose, green and hairy beast, who looks like a reject from the movie Where the Wild Things Are. The character is supposed to be the embodiment of a cold, brought to life in real situations, chasing down his victims. The insight behind the ad is spot on—a cold is disgusting and gross, don’t let it catch you. The monster is how most people feel when they have a cold, downright disgusting. But the brands primary target, moms in their mid-30s may not be reacting as planned, or are they?
The ad has caught the attention of so many people that it has almost as many negative comments on the facebook page as it does positive. One person even started a facebook page to ban it! The comments on Zicams own facebook page include visceral statements like “Disgusting commercial!!! not buying Zicam after seeing it!”, “Great product…DISGUSTING commercial!”,”Fire your marketing firm! Thanks for scaring the crap out of my young children with you disgusting hairy creature commercial. Why???”, “just saw the Zicam commercial with the large troll thing with a disgustingly nasty snotty face! What the frick?! Is it necessary to be that descriptive and hugely gross to get a point across?! I nearly threw up my dinner! I’m sorry, I’m so disgusted..its just..ICK! Get some new ideas for cryin out loud.” but also include “Cold Monster commercial is great. Hilarious looking creature. Can I borrow the costume for Halloween?”, “Love the creativity and humor of the commercial – made me go out and try Zicam for the cold I’m fighting off!!!” ,”Great product but GROSSEST COMMERCIAL EVER!!”, “Zicam is magic.”
All this buzz is great publicity and only strengthens the power of the campaign and the brand recognition. When you can get so many people talking about your campaign even the negative reactions in this case helps to reinforce the need for this product. Nobody likes to get caught by a cold, its disgusting, so get Zicam early. That’s what they want you to remember and you will, like it or not. And when you feel a cold coming on, you are reaching for the Zicam. So simple, so spot on. Great execution of a clear strategy. Zicam now owns that space and its going to take a monster slayer to take it away.