Thursday, April 30, 2015

Whoever heard of Protein World?

Until last Tuesday, hardly anyone.  But then it was attacked on twitter for its Marketing strategy...

...the company soon found itself on the receiving end of a 40,000 petition against its “Is your body beach ready?” advertisements, many of which were vandalised on the London Underground network, where they appeared. The ads were variously called “body shaming” and that they “purported violence against women” and on Saturday one SJW [social justice warrior] posted the company’s address and seemed to encourage the offices to be smashed up by “angry feminists with hammers”.
But then an astonishing thing happened: the company not only stood up to the SJWs, but got on the front foot and mercilessly baited them on Twitter, in the process creating the now-infamous hashtag #growupharriet
The company’s customers – surprisingly they are 84 per cent female, proving this wasn’t your standard man v feminist toe-to-toe – became feverish brand champions.
And, boy, they voted with their purses. To date, the furore has turned Protein World’s £250,000 ad campaign into a monster that has added 20,000 customers and driven revenue in excess of £1 million – in the last four days alone.

1 comment:

  1. In late 2013 Maria Kang posted a photo of her taught body along side her three children with the caption "What's Your Excuse?". This set off a firestorm of fat shaming accusations and even a date line feature with Maria being confronted by a leading opposing force. Fat shaming evangelists saw the photo as disrespectful. They saw it as a slap in the face to the average woman who has children and is not always able to make it to the gym in order to lose the baby weight. However Maria's intention was to provide motivation and show that even after having three kids, it's possible to get in shape and become even better than your former self.

    What did all this controversy do for Maria? She has still faced negative pressure but now has developed a stronger brand. Maria has started support groups across multiple states that boast self confidence and empower women who have had children. There are groups of women who now work out together and make time for their health in between running around with their offspring. Maria has even released a calendar consisting of women who have had children and are proud of their body after working out. Not every woman is as fit as Maria but that is the point. Not every mom needs to work towards a six pack after child birth, Maria was simply posing a question. She knew that life with children is difficult and it's not always easy to make time to care for your own health. She doesn't mean to shame people, she simply wants to empower women show that it's possible to raise children while being aware of your own health.

    The company mentioned within the article faced a similar situation. It's not possible to please everyone and more often than not your message will be misinterpreted. A company can choose to apologize to the world or, like Maria, stand up for their beliefs. Standing up however has the consequence of appearing superior or self righteous. How a company handles said situation can determine how effective they are at spreading their real message and sustain growth.