Last week popular alcopop brand WKD ran an advert which read ‘Just a few pounds a week could give this dog a home. It could also buy you a WKD’.
The advert upset and annoyed customers, who took to the brands Facebook page to express their feelings, describing the advert as ‘appalling’ and ‘disgusting’.
Some customers even went as far to say they would not be buying the drink in the future.
WKD have since announced that they will take down the adverts and have made donations to a few animal charities, including the Dogs Trust and the SSPCA.
Rival brand, VK, used some quick thinking and took advantage of topical advertising to show their friendly and generous side.
Their advert shows the VK dog, Corky, in a festive collar with text that reads “For every bottle of VK Blue sold until New Years Eve, we’ll donate 1p to Dogs Trust.”
They are also using social media to encourage their customers not only to buy their product, but to make their own donations to the Dogs Trust.
The move has earned the brand a lot of praise on social networks, and some consumers have even commented that they will buy VK instead of WKD over the Christmas and New Year period.
What can small businesses learn from this?
The first and most obvious lesson here is don’t find yourself in WKD’s shoes. There are limits to what you can do or say in order to promote your product or brand.
To avoid this, take a good look at your adverts and use some common sense, ask yourself could this upset or offend anyone? If there’s even the slightest chance that it might, it’s probably better not to run it than to risk doing your brand reputation some serious and potentially irreparable damage.
The second is that topical advertising really can help your business. For VK the slip up from WKD couldn’t have come at a better time. The run up to Christmas and New Year will be their best time of the year for sales with Christmas, New Year and Office parties and get-togethers taking place up and down the country.
Topical advertising doesn’t just have to take advantage of a competitor’s mistake; you can relate your advert to a news story, or something that’s popular at the moment.
If you live in the Burntwood, Lichfield, Cannock or Staffordshire area and require some help or advice with your marketing, why not see what we can do. Take a look at our case studies, and call us on 01543 495752 and book a no obligation meeting with us today.