Is disruptive marketing really disruptive?

Is disruptive marketing really disruptive?

A few years ago, the phrase ‘Disruptive Marketing’ would have actually meant something. The innovators in the field metaphorically grabbed marketing standards by the balls and took the public for a ride. Twenty years ago, HBO’s marketing team advertised ‘The Sopranos’ by having yellow taxi cabs drive around NYC with dummy-gangster-arms flopping out of the trunk, with a small bumper sticker of the Sopranos logo alongside it. In 2011, Coca-Cola released their ‘Share a coke” campaign – using people’s names across their labels rather than their own. And since 2014, John Lewis changed the Christmas TV advert concept seemingly forever! With sentimental short films, having nothing to do with the store, becoming not only an advertisement norm – but an actual expectation from the public.

However, marketing agencies have to deal with these trends from a different perspective than the general public. And when one company changes the game, everyone else has to accept these new rules or keep on innovating. Sadly, nowhere in the world right now is there a boardroom that day-in-day-out churns out golden ideas that change marketing on a daily basis. Many marketing agencies accept their fate, jump on the bandwagon and make sure their products and clients follow the industry leaders in their disruptive marketing.

But there’s that phrase again. Disruptive marketing. And it goes without saying that, obviously, if everyone is playing the game exactly the same … how is it disruptive? It can’t be. It literally defies the logic of the definition. Which is why when every marketing agency, nationwide, advertises their company as a “Disruptive Marketing Agency” you can’t help but smell the bullshit.

It’s bullshit we all have to spew. It’s the marketing equivalent of telling your five-year-old that their plastic Christmas toys were made by happy little elves rather than kids their own age in a sweatshop. Or is it? In the infamous words of Avril Lavigne – “It’s more punk to tell people you’re not punk.”. With that in mind, DA Creative Studio work with brands to cause disruption in their own space. When the entire marketing pendulum swings in the direction of ‘edgy’, ‘loud’ innovation – which is just as creative as the other hundred campaigns spewed out over the last 10 years – the really disruptive move is to work against that.

Disruption means to work differently. Marketing your brand in a way that breaks trends, rather than following them. DA handles disruptive marketing by looking at the competition and helping our clients look at themselves to push back against the norm, even if that’s phone calls and letters to customers. It can be creative. It can be ballsy. But what DA does as ‘The Disruptive Brand Agency’ is work against the current and cause enough of a ripple to get the client standing out from the crowd and getting attention for being different.

This post was brought to you by..
Matt Nolan
Organic Social Media Executive

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