The Job Is Not To Be Polite

by Thomas MORADPOUR on October 17, 2012 · 4 comments

This video response to a bullying Facebook post on the Bodyform page about its product Maxipad, is quite the kick in the head. I loved it so much that it jolted me back onto this blog for my first post of 2012 (don’t say it…).

Simply put, it’s brilliant.

It’s also quite rude, and reminds me that the job of marketing is not to be polite. It is to be awesome.

But before you go on, if you haven’t already, you need to read this:

and watch that:

FOR YOU LAZY ONES, HERE’S THE QUICK SUMMARY:

UK maker Bodyform has been lying to us for all these years. Women don’t have happy periods, they don’t go horseback riding, windsurfing, rollerblading, in that all so special time of the month. Thankfully, that fine bloke Richard took it upon himself to call them out on Facebook, and set the record straight. 90,000 likes later, Bodyform decided to answer in the form of the most epic apology ever made.

Now, you still need to read the post and watch the video. Just do it. Now.

DID YOU CATCH IT?

Yeah, it’s not really an apology. It’s a not-even-thinly-veiled “f*** you Richard”. The tone is set from second one by a glass of blue water that screams, “I don’t mean a word of what I’m going to say next”. The CEO is actually an actress, who properly scolds Richard like the kindergarten bully that he is, speaking slowly enough that he would get the concepts he falsely pretended not to understand in his post. Despite British appearances of politeness, it is thoroughly condescending, patronizing, and plainly rude, up to its hilarious conclusion.

SEE, THEY DID NOT GO FOR POLITE

They went for brilliant.

Conventional wisdom is to appease unhappy customers, even if they are trolls like Richard. To act calm and collected, solve the problem by maybe throwing some coupons at it, and certainly to try and make it go away. Fact is most brands freeze when criticized on Facebook.

Nope.

Here’s an in-your-face response that already  attracted twice as much attention as the issue created in the first place, and more views than all previous Bodyform content combined. It is remarkable because of the balls, flair, and totally unapologetic refusal to be victimized that it shows. And of course, incredibly well written and delivered.

SO WHAT’S THE JOB?

First time in my life I ever think of Bodyform. You’ve been reading a full page about this story already. All because they had the guts to embrace a conversation that others would have seen as cause to run for the hills. Don’t tell me you don’t think this will do more for Bodyform brand value than all of their other advertising campaigns put together.

The job is not to be afraid and polite. It’s to make your business and ideas famous, to change people, to make effing awesome shit happen.
Kudos Bodyform.

 

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  • http://twitter.com/TheDaveReynolds Dave Reynolds

    Welcome back Tom. Great read. A clever “comeback” line, so to speak,  if ever there was one!

  • http://twitter.com/samfiorella Sam Fiorella

    Corporate courage. Brilliant marketing. 

    (btw – where the hell have you been? Missed your blog posts)

  • http://twitter.com/#!/steveolenski/ steveolenski

    Hey Tom,

    Long time no speak… great post. Look forward to catching up soon! All the best my friend… Steve O

  • http://twitter.com/markdavidson Mark Davidson

    So happy to see you putting up a post!

    “The job is not to be afraid and polite. It’s to make your business and ideas famous, to change people, to make effing awesome shit happen.”

    That quote is going up on my physical, real world wall.

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