With the ASA now extending its remit to all marketing campaigns and content businesses are going to be under increasing pressure to make sure that they can still make their voices heard in new and innovative ways without getting banned and slapped with a fine. Until now social campaigns through channels such as YouTube and Facebook have been safe from the scrutiny of the ASA however that is all set you change. Many campaigns which have failed to make it to TV have often succeeded online such as this one:
And then there are campaigns such as this one which made it to TV only to be banned after a list of complaint’s. However with over 16 Million views on YouTube it has become and internet sensation and now holds the title for the most viewed banned SuperBowl Commercial despite originally being banned back in 2007!
One of the companies who faced ASA's wrath for their digital campaign was Lynx with there string of Lucy Pinder Doing........Makes Me videos. However after a number of complaints were made regarding its objectification of women. An example of which is below:
However as with the other 2 above examples despite receiving a wrap on the knuckles Lynx has managed to turn the controversy to their advantage and the videos went viral. Lynx did produce an 'apology' video which in fact acts as a spoof poking fun and their work and highlighting the light-hearted nature of the brand and intended videos.
The success of this type of approach is always going to be risky and bending the rules will not work for every type of company and many companies have tried and failed. It has always been a well known fact that to be 'edgy' as a company and the way in which you communicate is desirable and often correlates to online success however it does mean that you will now be under the continual scrutiny of the ASA. It has been proven from past experience that the most common types of brands who have received reprimands for their advertising yet have flourished in the controversy are brands targeting most commonly the 18-35 ago group male demographic. What this clearly demonstrates is that demographic and intended message is everything. Although nothing is ever going to be clear cut it appears that it is going to be increasingly difficult for these sorts of brands to engage their demographic without getting a telling off.