Troll Marketing - A New Way to Trigger Buying Decision

Published by MBA Skool Team, Published on December 06, 2012

In the real world they say “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” & in the AD-World they say “What makes you laugh may make you a buyer”. The advertising industry is bustling with examples of creations that tickle the funny bone of the consumer. It has become a more of legacy issue for some of the brands to produce advertisements which are funnier than their last one. The consumers also look forward to creations from these firms for the sheer bliss they provide in terms of laughter. In today’s fast paced, dead serious world it is very important for companies to create customer touch points which leave a long-lasting impact on the customers in form of any emotional quotient with preference to a Joyful end.

Today’s Social Media platforms single handedly spearheaded by Facebook, form an essential ingredient of the overall marketing strategy of any organization. Firms have increased their spending on Digital Marketing to the tune of millions considering the recent trends in consumer buying behavior. World over the Facebook users reached a total of 1 billion on October 4th, 2012. An average American user spends close to 6.5 hours on Facebook website every month with the Facebook mobile usage being even more.

One of the most prominent features on anyone’s Facebook page these days is the presence of a ugly but even more funny looking face popularly called as Troll. In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: "That was an excellent troll you posted." The standard Wikipedia definition may seem offensive but trust the faces are not. In fact they are very funny & make you laugh or as they say in internet slang language “LOL”.

What I am proposing here is why not use this excellent character to sell your products, as simple as that. The companies already have been dying to find ideas of enticing the customers on Facebook & other social media platforms. Troll is very popular amongst the younger school/college going users of Facebook which incidentally forms the major chunk of its users also. A typical Facebook session (session being, all the roommates or friends sitting together logged into Facebook) at my college involves reading the best Troll messages on everyone’s walls aloud.

As the protagonist says in the famous American TV series, Mad Man, Consumers buy products which make them happy. Companies can start with daily Troll updates on their Facebook pages to engage the customers. There are random pages today which Troll lovers visit daily to check the new Troll updates & laugh their way out. But companies better be creative about this. New Trolls will have to be created for offering genuine fun to the customer. The users who have liked the company’s Facebook page will be able to view the Trolls on their news feed daily. They will also be able to share these Trolls on their pages with their friends. These will allow a viral platform of growth to the company. The next stage will be creating the Trolls with company products used by the Troll man & creating funny messages around it. A typical example of the same will be Amul using the already famous Amul girl & the Troll face in same screen discussing the Political situation in our country. Political satire is one of the best ways to grab customer attention & create a response further strengthening the bond with the brand.

Further, short animated videos can be made with Troll & company products weaved into a story to generate customer awareness about the product & induce trials. The Troll on current happenings in the world with relation to the company will be very effective in creating brand awareness. The videos will be something in line of Zoo-Zoo adverts by Vodafone which created a tremendous brand connection between the customers & the brand. Like Zoo-Zoo Trolls can be made a prominent Brand element around which the Social Media can revolve. The importance of Troll will increase to such an extent that the brand will become synonymous with the Troll face.

However companies need to be careful while selecting the respective Troll face & it needs to be used even more aesthetically to not generate any negative responses. It should not be offensive any specific section, caste, gender etc.. It should be well bound in the ethical realms of advertising world. Early incidents of trolling were considered to be the same as flaming, but this has changed with modern usage by the news media to refer to the creation of any content that creates a humorous response from the viewer due to the facial expressions of the Troll.

Troll puts a smile on your face & going by the second level of Association to your mood it can definitely go a long way to trigger your buying decisions.

This article has been authored by Rohan Dhakad from SCMHRD.

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