For the uninitiated:
OMG = “Oh my God.”
OMFG = The same, plus a strategically placed F-bomb.
First time I saw these ads, I wanted to write about it here, but I couldn’t seem to find the CW’s justification for taking “OMG,”—a phrase that already puts some people on edge—and plusing it with the “F” for extra shock appeal.
Personally, I grew up in a household where “Oh my gosh” would raise eyebrows because it was so close to “Oh my God,” which takes the Lord’s name in vain. Readers of this blog know I’m no Saint: I used the word “sh**” in a post just last week — and have posted some risque videos. But the fact is, I’m hardwired by my upbringing.
Anyway, I assumed it was to shock the viewer into paying attention—to break through the clutter by slipping something naughty past the FCC. I also assumed it was a calculated move to gain secondary attention from the media—that the CW knew full well this would create the kind of controversy that gets people talking.
As it turns out, I was 2/3 right.
Last week’s Promax/BDA CMO Summit featured a panel that included the CW’s CMO Rick Haskin. He was asked point blank about the ads, and agreed they were meant to break through and was pleased with the additional attention the controversy created.
Knowing only this much, you might want to call the CW and their tactic irresponsible.
But wait, there’s more.
Haskin claims that the CW really listened to their viewers, and discovered that the OMFG phrase was one of the phrases most commonly used to describe the show—that their messages would start, “OMFG…”
Listening to your customers and speaking to them in their own voice makes the conversation more authentic and is indeed Responsible Marketing.
I’m just not sure if this is brilliant marketing—or brilliant spin-doctoring.
But what do you think? Was the CW responsible or not?
Comment below to weigh in.
Source: Interview on 3 Minute Ad Age.