This particular gentleman was in his early 60s, very well spoken and immaculately dressed. We were discussing the global financial crises and impact on the lives of this group of pre-retirees. Sharing his own story he revealed that he is severely in debt. Diagnosed with a brain aneurism and without private health insurance his financial position was, to be frank, depressing. Yet he was neither negative nor down on himself, quite the contrary.
If you have ever watched American television you may have noticed the number of negative based advertising, which espouse one brand by deriding others. Australian advertisers have long known that such a strategy would not be popular with a local audience. It’s what you might call un-Australian. Putting someone else down to advance your own cause is simply not nice. It’s nasty and invariably triggers sympathy for the brand being attacked, the underdog.
That’s not to say that negative ads do not work – they do. Mud sticks. But such messages reflect badly on the messenger, and makes them unlikeable, and ultimately brands want to be liked by consumers.