Whether or not you consider Poundland's naughty elf social media campaign good or bad it's been noticed. It's a deliberately sexual campaign designed to grab your attention. Poundland have achieved their goal, they are trending on twitter, the BBC are writing about them Poundland removes Twinings tea from 'Naughty Elf' ad and almost everyone is talking about the Naughty Little Elf.
Let's not forget they aren't the first brand to create provocative advertising, it can be risky and your audience can easily turn against you.
When you create marketing campaigns on social media you have to ensure your message will be "reasonably" relevant to the majority of people as posts can easily to viral.
Clothing chain French Connection UK's abbreviated logo FCUK is provocative in itself. American Apparel where renowned for using highly sexual imagery. Rap Songs are notoriously filled with derogatory phrases towards women and have endless references to sex and violence.
Why are we so shocked?
Poundland are a familiar store on the high street, its associated as a family store, offering deals and specials on household branded items. This particular campaign has taken a friendly family character usually associated with children and Christmas and given it a sexual adults only theme. No problem with this kind of advertising, but the problem lies with the platform, social media is open all people and can be accessed by a much younger demographic.
“The love on Facebook has been overwhelming, and that’s because it connects with our shoppers. We’re proud of a campaign that’s only cost £25.53 and is being touted as the winning marketing campaign this Christmas!”- Poundland Marketing Director Mark Pym
Twinings Tea where not particularly happy with the reference to their product, tweeting
"We are aware of an image that is circulating that misuses our product. This is to confirm that we had no involvement in this and that it is obviously not reflective of our brand values.”
I'm all up for a bit of a joke and innuendo on social media, and after my initial shock of Poundlands posts, I did find some of the images slightly amusing, and others well, in the current climate of Harvey Weinstein and the #MeTo campaign it probably wasn't as sensitive as it could be. I appreciate a brand taking risks on social media, but I also feel the messaging needs to sit comfortably with your audience. It appears the Naughty Elf may have divided opinion...