I’m not a fan of shock advertising (I think it’s a cop out most of the time). I’m also not a fan of PETA advertising and marketing. In fact, I’ve written about my opinion related to PETA advertising before. There are so many examples of PETA’s misguided marketing strategy (remember sea kittens or the banned Super Bowl ad? I could go on and on.), but an outdoor billboard that PETA recently resurrected in the U.K. is yet another reminder of a marketing strategy gone awry (and that still has no clue how to connect with a broad audience). Check it out below.
The PETA brand suffers from an exclusive message (and I don’t mean that in the “special” sense of the word — I mean the opposite of “inclusive”). The PETA brand message is, “You’re either with us or against us.” There is no half-way with PETA. In the 21st century where relationship brands are becoming more and more important, this is the wrong strategy for PETA (or any other organization that wants to grow) to follow.
I also think that PETA suffers from delivering messages that aren’t believable. One of the most important elements of marketing and copywriting is crafting messages that consumers will actually believe. Gone are the days when consumers took words like “free” at face value. The same can be said of extremist messages like PETA’s ‘meat makes kids fat’ message. The masses don’t believe it.
I do believe there is merit to many of PETA’s fights, but extremist, exclusionary marketing is not helping the brand. Check out the comments on this article from Brand Republic to see what people are saying about the billboard.
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