The Positive Effect of Negativity

The Positive Effect of Negativity

Whenever something unexpected happens in life, some of us pause; we look up and we try to figure it out. Especially if you are curious - like good researchers are supposed to be – discovering a paradox can lead to a hypothesis and looking to prove it can be real fun. When we came across the paradox described in our latest blog post, we investigated and analysed it to death, and then we started thinking about similar cases that may support our hypothesis i.e negativity under certain circumstances may have a positive effect.

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What seems to have happened in the case of Coca-Cola, is that passive social media users saw the racist comments towards the ad and decided to come to its defence. They expressed their dissatisfaction with the reaction of the people posting negative comments using very strong language. Indirectly, these negative comments about the negative posts “attacking” Coca-Cola can be considered as positive for the brand; in simple terms negative about the negative equals positive - imitating how multiplication works in mathematics.

Is it possible that we are looking at a new marketing phenomenon applicable both in business and in politics on how to harness ‘The Positive Effect of Negativity’? In a nutshell, every brand that would like to stir some noise around it makes a controversial statement with its communications - but hopefully controversial only for a small and evil group of people. When the minority group reacts against the brand, the passive and sleepy majority then wakes up and defends the brand against evil; the positive effect of negativity may simply be turning apathy into action.

To find out more, download our eBook on ‘The Positive Effect of Negativity’.


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