The rise of ‘sadvertising’ and what it means for your business

Trends in advertising don’t last long. Today’s flavour of the month is ‘sadvertising,’ a type of advertising that’s goal is to reduce us to tears. In many instances, the company’s product or services barely feature in the advert – if at all – and the company instead using their video advertising to raise awareness of a social issue, or simply provoke an emotional connection to their brand. ‘Sadvertising’ isn’t only about provoking tears – it can also bring forth feelings of nostalgia, happiness, surprise or anger. Sadvertising is mainly used online, often accompanied by clickbait headlines that are solely designed to encourage the reader to click through to the content. Viewers will also be encouraged to share the content on social media.

This type of advertising is tricky to manage. Here are a few basic rules to follow if you wish to undertake this kind of campaign:

  • Honesty is key. If any element of the campaign feels forced or unrealistic, there’s no chance that your marketing campaign will succeed. Instead, it’ll be torn to shreds.
  • High production values are essential. Poor lighting or staging could ruin your shoot, and significantly reduce the emotional impact of the end product.
  • Time is of the essence. Now that the trend has been identified, it won’t take long before the impact of sadvertising is diminished. You’re much better off trying to look for a new way to advertise your product rather than trying to follow the trend.
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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.
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