Opposite Day: How to Stand Out in Advertising

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Opposite Day: How to Stand Out in Advertising

You’ll find a million articles online with the exact same title as this one. They’ll use phrases like “disruptive content,” “ads that tell a story,” and “subverting expectations.” Easier said than done. If anyone that reads a marketing blog could go home and craft original, creative, and compelling content, I’d be out of a job. But there is one easy, surefire way to gain attention and stand out: do the exact opposite of what everyone’s expecting. I’m not telling you to “be unique” or “go against the flow,” because you've heard that before. I’m telling you, literally, to do the opposite of what’s sensical. Allow me to explain.


The Super Bowl was last Sunday. If you’re a Seahawks fan, you’re not reading this because you’ve crawled into a cave somewhere until next season. If you’re a Patriots fan, you’re not reading this because you’re still passed out on the couch, recovering from the celebrations. For everyone else out there, if you turned to Twitter after the big game, you might have noticed something a bit peculiar about job-site Monster’s feed:




That’s right, they congratulated the wrong team. Why? To generate attention of course! And it worked, Monster is rising as an online conversation topic by 1500%.


McDonald’s took an equally risky move Sunday, tweeting about other brands’ commercials instead of their own, to great success.



Monday was Groundhog Day. Imagine if you saw an article with the headline “Lawn Care Company Uses Monkey to Determine Weather Because Groundhogs Tear Up Lawns.” It’d be pretty hard to resist clicking that, and you’d notice it regardless. For credit unions, this strategy of opposites can be useful because it's a chance to step outside of what's pretty much known as an insular industry and possibly gain traction where it's least expected. While we're not saying you should spend International Credit Union day tweeting about the awesomeness of banks-- it could be useful to use a high-profile event to do something unexpected as a way to reach beyond your membership. So while creating content that stands apart from the clutter can be a challenge, you can create a lane for your brand by seizing on what’s most popular in the moment, then driving in reverse!