Marketing
Storytelling
Apr
05

6 Simple Ways To Generate Word-of-Mouth Buzz: #1 Harnessing the Dangerous Power of Taboo

Jaycen Thorgeirson
Founder & Chief Storyteller
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#1: Harnessing the dangerous power of taboo

With billions of dollars in advertising money pumped into the marketing landscape every year, you would think the best marketing must be paid traffic. Simply make an ad, put it out into the world, and throw money at it until something sticks. Right?

Not always. Time and time again, marketers have learned the best return on their marketing investment is from: word-of-mouth. The best way to build your brand is for people to talk about your brand (without you paying them to do it). 

Of course, like anything good in life, there’s always a catch. The big catch with word-of-mouth is… You have to be remarkable.

As in, you have to give people something to “remark” about. If you’re not doing anything different or moving, nobody will mention you. 

However, the investment you make in being remarkable and building “buzz” or excitement around your brand can result in huge ROI, additional reach in audience, and lasting impact. 

Check out Lexia’s 5700% ROI for their latest campaign, for example.

So, if marketers know word-of-mouth is one of the most effective marketing strategies out there, if not THE most, why don’t they do more of that? 

Because being remarkable isn’t easy. Think about all the messages you see flash across your screen every day, competing for your attention. Your brand is competing with all those different messages yelling, “Look here! I’m shiny!”

Well, at UviaUs, we specialize doing things differently to create remarkable moments. Crafting buzz-worthy experiences that launch word-of-mouth can be simple. All you need is the right ingredients. 

Here’s your first one. It’s spicy, so use it sparingly.

Use Taboos to Generate Buzz

We’re not thinking taboo in the way you’re thinking taboo. I promise.

What is a taboo? It’s something that society has labeled improper, unacceptable, prohibited… Bad.

Every society and subculture has taboos. This includes your industry.

Take some time to think about the preconceptions and possible misconceptions in your industry. Something everybody believes, that nobody argues with, and if you did argue with it, people would think you were crazy!

And what is “crazy” but another word for remarkable?

Let’s look at an example from an unlikely place… PooPourri.

Poo-Pourri’s Viral Ad

Poo-Pourri Goes All-in on Taboo

Poo-Pourri is a toilet air freshener that traps gross smells and replaces them with flowery fragrances. There’s a couple products out there on the market like this. 

For the most part, this industry does something strange with their marketing… they never actually refer directly to what they’re talking about. Because it’s gross. But it means they’re forced to use indirect images and vague phrases in their commercials.

Poo-Pourri took… a different approach. In their insanely viral (43 million views and counting) YouTube video, “Girls Don’t Poop,” they held nothing back. Plus, they did it in a fun and humorous way that charmed viewers. 

Why was this so effective? Because the toilet air freshener industry, of all people, had a taboo against actually talking about poop.

By taking on this taboo topic, and in the process addressing the customer’s needs in a fresh and direct way, Poo-Pourri generated a ton of word-of-mouth, setting millions of people on the road to becoming fans of their product. 

How can you use “taboo” for your marketing?

Start by thinking about the “known truths” in your industry. What does everybody take for granted that you can absolutely never do?


Then, do it.

Preferably, in the funniest and funnest way possible. 



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6 Simple Ways To Generate Word-of-Mouth Buzz:

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