Posted by: Corina Paraschiv | April 26, 2009

Advertizing your Defects?

Whoever heard of digging a whole in the ground for yourself before jumping in?  Well Buckley’s does it.  Everytime they appear in a Canadian commercial, this syrup says absolutely NOTHING positive about its syrup, except this one claim, that is works.  But for YEARS, while Robitussin tries to brand itself as “the Dr. Mom syrup” and Riccola as the great-tasting, natural-ingredients, soothing caugh solution, Buckley’s continues to brand themselves with this simple tag line that has been working for decades now.

Buckleys.  It tastes aweful.  And it works.

Buckley's. It tastes aweful. And it works.

Buckley’s uses an extremely rare marketing tactic.  Instead of using a one-sided message like all its competitors, to praise its merits, the brand advertises on a two-sided messages, mentioning both positive and negative points about its syrup.  Marketers are usually scared a two-sided message will dissuade customers to use their product or that by saying something positive about their competitors, they’ll encourage customers to consider going to the competitor.  But by claiming it does have a bad side – its bad taste – Buckley’s establishes itself as more credible, and more appealing to customers.  Their technique is very close to what we call refutation — by sometimes forseeing the criticism that may be directed their way by competitors and by addressing them firsthand then demolishing them by still telling you how the product is great, it has an “innoculation effect” on you — you won’t believe the competitor’s attack after seeing this company’s ad.  If any other caugh syrup tells you Buckley tastes aweful, you’ll say yeah, but it works!  Sold.


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