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Oct 17, 2019    Burn Book

Why Disruptive Advertising Trends Always Fail


Just because you dress up as a furry every Saturday night and call yourself Felix the Feline, doesn’t mean you’re actually a 6’2’’ plush cat. Just because you and your friends like the way your 2 AM pineapple grilled cheese tastes, doesn’t mean you should have your own cooking show on network television. And just because your marketing firm or consultancy designed some content that goes against the grain, doesn’t mean you can call yourself a disruptive advertising agency.

Because in a world where everyone wants to be considered bold and unexpected, your content can’t be the only thing stirring conversation. You have to build a brand that doesn’t just think outside the box but thrives outside that box. You have to find employees who are addicted to everything new and unusual and have the fearlessness to take it on. But above all else, you have to be able to define what it is you want to obtain through your disruptive advertising strategies. What exactly do you want to disrupt and in what way?

What Should Disruptive Advertising Do?

Disruptive advertising can exist anywhere on any forum and it can vary from customer to customer. This advertising strategy is based on the idea that you’re confronting preconceptions or previously held beliefs in a way that isn’t objectional. In a way that shows something in an unfamiliar, and almost never before seen way.

But first, you have to understand what those previously held beliefs are and what they mean to people. As an Austin branding agency, it goes without saying that you have to have your finger on the pulse of all things pop culture to be able to communicate and relate to your audience properly. Whether it’s reading keeping up with the latest news or finding out who’s the cream of the crop on DesignRush. And beyond that, you need to be able to understand what those pockets of culture and society mean to the people who follow it.

Is someone rocking a fanny pack because they think it’s cool and high fashion? Or because it will get a laugh? Is #DaveChappelle trending on Twitter because of how popular his latest Netflix special was or because of how many people were offended by it? If you act without reason and attempt to do something bold without understanding how people perceive it, you can find yourself in a tough situation. And although you should follow these trends, you should never mimic them.

The Copy-Cat Paradox

Whether you’re a digital marketing firm or a fintech company trying to stir the waters, never try to mock something else you see. While this seems obvious, if you look close enough at some of the content on your TV and computer screens you’ll see people ripping off features and themes from one another and calling it “new and refreshing.” And sometimes they don’t even know they’re copying one another.

Obviously, we look to our surroundings and the stimuli around us for inspiration and motivation to do what’s next, but not everyone processes it the same. Some people store it in the back of their minds, to bring it up at a later date in a different shape that they truly believe is an original creation. It’s something that happens to musicians and producers all the time. They listen to a vast collection of music over their lifetime and eventually reproduce it in a similar ring, that they mistakenly believe is their own. It’s something that we as content curators and digital marketing specialists have to be wary about as well.

So consume. But digest it properly and make sure you are able to separate your own ideas from those of your peers and you will be able to create incredible pieces of marketing material that the world has never seen.

Let Your Curiosity Take Control