'Shockvertising': The Ugly Side of Viral Marketing

“Shockvertising” allows companies to stand out, while social media users gather the pitchforks, the torches -- and sometimes, the money.

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viral marketing

Viral marketing is often seen as vulgar and cheap. You’d hope the best content would be the most effective — and go viral naturally. However, there seems to be an increasing trend toward the use of deliberately vulgar and shocking marketing.

The debate was sparked largely by the Kent State sweatshirt from Urban Outfitters, which appeared to be splattered with blood. At one point, the sweatshirt looked like it was sold out, but later statements from Urban Outfitters declared the product would be destroyed instead of shipped.



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