How To Keep Your Brand Safe From Controversy

One of the foundations of effective advertising is having a quality marketing agency as a core part of your team. This important addition to your approach assists in focusing in on your ideal audience AND the most effective messaging that resonates with that audience. Getting the messaging right is critical and not as easy as it seems.

What if your message inadvertently hits a sour note (think a leading soft drink company and a very poorly received, culturally tone deaf television spot)? Nowadays being politically sensitive and socially aware opens new doors for companies who market the right way. But how do these companies know what to say, how to say it, and whom to say it to in order to achieve success in advertising? Whether you are a large corporation or a small business, you should have a trustworthy advertising partner who knows how to help you avoid advertising controversy. That can be more complicated if you don’t have an experienced team who knows what can help or harm your brand when it comes to targeting a certain audience. Teamwork means assessing every fact, opinion, thought and question from different angles in order to know exactly what you’re advertising.

The Text

The text is a key part of advertising, and one of the most important in getting the message across to your audience — aside from the imagery, of course! It’s the words you use that can make or break your brand. Knowing exactly what to say to get the unique benefits of choosing your brand across, and to keep your audience interested, is the alchemy of advertising. At the same time, it’s imperative to stay true to your brand and its voice, because after all — your brand’s uniqueness is why your clients/customers choose it.

The Imagery

The imagery used is equally as important as the words because the visual is the first thing your audience will associate with your brand. Everything in the imagery, especially the pictures, fonts, and colors you use, can have a strong impact on your audience. It’s important to take into consideration the perspectives of ALL audiences. Never make assumptions about the audience(s). Covering all of your bases when it comes to messaging is where collaborative teamwork, new ideas, fresh opinions, and deep knowledge will be beneficial.

It’s not as easy as it may seem to stay true to your brand while also at the same time staying relevant with the times. Having a good marketing team means they are there to hit the update button on your brand and to be able to assess where your brand fits in the market. Whether it’s a new tagline for your latest campaign, or a cultural news reference in your social media, or targeting an entirely new audience because you added a new slate of services, the language used in your advertising is exceedingly critical.

Your marketing team should be able to filter through the correct concepts and relevant messaging that come with targeting audiences and advertising your brand.

The best way to make sure your brand’s advertising is on point is to perform the below steps.

  1. Define your target audience(s)
  2. Define the messaging each audience needs. It should be the same overall message, but may need to be changed up slightly for each audience segment.
  3. Decide on impactful imagery
  4. Review your planned messaging and imagery: research how it will sound and look to ALL audiences. Did you say it well? Are there any sensitivities you may not be aware of?

A great marketing team (like LDM) knows what is grammatically, politically, and socially correct, while at the same time maintaining the fluidity and image of your brand. This ultimately builds your brand, your audience, and your bottom line — it’s what we like to call a win-win-win.