I came across this clip in a post on Graywolf’s SEO Blog about controversial marketing. He provided some other examples of edgy marketing, but his main points were:

  1. Identify Your Market
  2. Speak to them and not at them
  3. You Need a Villain
  4. Fan the Fire [see the viral element here]

This all reminds me of when I worked for American Apparel. Those guys wrote the book on modern controversial marketing. First, they’ve identified their market as young hipsters. Second, they speak to these hipsters by featuring them (i.e. employees and employees’ friends) in their ads. Third, their villain is the establishment with its archaic standards of beauty and repressed notions of sexuality. Finally, they fan the flames by doing things like publishing their hate mail.

Maybe this is why I’m such an incorrigible prick: I broke my marketing cherry at 747 Warehouse St. in East LA.

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