When negative publicity is good... Istvan Csaba Gergely
Timeline of the anti-KitKat social media campaign• Wednesday, March 17, altered KitKat advertising video posted on Youtube• First negative comments on Nestle’s facebook page• Friday, March 19, the issue of Nestle’s negative comments went mainstream – The Guardian, SkyNews, AdvertisingAge, PR Week, BNET UK
Increased sales after the anti-KitKat social media campaign• “…new data from IRI has revealed that Kit Kat sales have actually increased since the campaign was launched in March. Value sales of Kit Kat four-finger bars rose 3.6% year-on-year to £5.8m in March this year and by 4.2% year-on-year to £5.3m in April. Volume sales also rose, by 0.2% in March and 1.3% in April.”(Phillips 2010)
Theoretical framework• “any publicity is good publicity,”• negative publicity can be “devastating” (Ahluwalia, Burnkrant, and Unnava 2000)• it decreases product and brand evaluation (Tybout, Calder, and Sternthal 1981; Wyatt and Badger 1984; also see Huang and Chen 2006). (Berger et al. 2009)
Theoretical framework• may have positive effects, if it increases product awareness.• greater word of mouth should lead more consumers to be informed about a product, and thus lead to greater sales (Godes, Mayzlin 2004).• negative publicity positive effects if it “re- informs” consumers (Berger et al. 2009)
Theoretical framework• Study 1 Michael Jackson• Study 2 Russel Crow• Study 3 New York Times book review and sales (Berger et al. 2010)
Discussion• Consumers may be aware that a product exists, but its existence is not always salient.• Information varies in the degree that it is accessible or top of mind (Bruner 1957; Higgins and King 1981; Wyer and Srull 1981). (Berger et al. 2009)
Conclusion• Negative publicity can definitely hurt sales in some cases, in others, negative may actually be positive.