A rule of thumb in advertising is to say good things about your product. Seems pretty logical, right? If you’re tying to sell a vacuum, saying that it doesn’t actually suck is not a good tactic. However, there is a certain niche that some products hold when knocking your own product will help brand loyalty. The niche? Being divisive.
Miracle Whip. You won’t meet a lot of people that are so-so on Miracle Whip. Either you love it or you really don’t. No matter how much Miracle Whip hypes the merits of their mayo-like condiment, they’re not going to convince anyone who doesn’t like it to change their mind. Miracle Whip knew this and ran a very interesting campaign a while back with the slogan, “Love us or hate us? It’s time to decide.”
They sent out samples of their product with an insert that had positive reviews printed on one side and negative reviews on the other. The call to action was to try the Whip and then go online and say if you loved it or hated it. Instead of trying to make haters into believers, they clearly divided the haters from the believers. What they did with this was push their believers, previously just scattered folk eating sandwiches, into a tribe (Thank you, Mr. Godin). They could rally behind a brand they loved and raise their fists against the haters. This is an awesome way to build brand loyalty.
Car brand Scion (owned by Toyota) had a commercial a few years ago that was similar to the Miracle Whip campaign. They have a car called the xB that is oft hated for it’s boxy shape, but has a rabid following amongst it’s fans. The commercial shows a wrecking ball swinging over two xB’s while a voice over sing-songs, “He loves me, he loves me not.” I won’t spoil the ending, but the final line is very similar to Miracle Whip’s, “Love it or hate it. Scion xB.”
Not every company can pull this off. There are people that love and hate Coke, but there are way more people that could take or leave Coke depending on what the restaurant they’re at serves. Coke doesn’t have the strong opinions behind its brand that to run a campaign like this. Divisive brands such as Miracle Whip are in a unique position to play off the fact that opinions run so strong about their product. They can use it to whip (pun!) their loyal fan-base into a frenzy behind the product they love.