What is Shockvertising?

By on December 16, 2011

Today’s advertising environment is filled with loads of content that it has become a herculean task to catch the attention of the consumers. There are simply too many messages and not enough attention from consumers. Shock advertising is a method of capturing the attention of the consumer in a rather unmissable way.

Earlier we saw the use of disruptive advertising, as a form of capturing the attention. While disruption can be created in many non-startling or non-offending ways, shockvertising aims at creating disruption by shocking the audience through the content, or breach of social code, or personal values.

Shock advertising, or Shockvertising, is a type of advertising, that deliberately startles, or offends the audience, with its daring content. Shock advertising employs bold graphic imagery, and blunt slogans.

Marketers use shockvertising when the backfire is lesser than the gain. If the audience act negatively, the marketer will end up losing goodwill. At the same time marketers try to make shockvertising meaningful. If the ad is too abstract, the customers may not get the intended message, which is critical in creating recall in the minds of the audience after the initial shock.

Shockvertising is used successfully by marketers across the world. We have seen how Benetton has leveraged shockvertising to build its brand in our earlier case study. Shockvertising is also used for civil branding or cause advertising, by governments or other social organizations.


About Arvind R

Arvind believes that “Marketing is a function, inherent in every human being. A post graduate in Retail Management, he has worked with retail companies like Shoppers Stop and Spar, before venturing out on his own, and now is a successful entrepreneur running a manufacturing business. Click here to know more about him.