Why provocative ads keep on giving!

Andrew McDonald

5/17/20231 min read

Argentina v Brazil is the world's biggest international football match.

The teams hate each other. Their fans hate each other even more.

Which is why condom company Tulipán's 2006 billboard ad was so controversial.

And such a winner!

It made the bold prediction that Argentina weren't only going to beat Brazil.


It suggested the Argentineans were going to, well, you can see the ad!

Which was only going to get Argentina fans pumped up. (Excuse the pun!)

And annoy Brazil ones.

Either way, Tulipán was sure to win.

The ad was provocative. And it got people talking. Great attention for Tulipán.

If Argentina won, the poster would become iconic.

Bringing even more publicity.

If they lost, Brazilians were sure to respond in kind.

Which meant more people talking about the original ad for longer.

Mocking Tulipán and Argentina, yes. But as Oscar Wilde famously said:

"There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that's not being talked about."

Effectively, Tulipán got an ad that ran twice. The second time for free.

It also did something else.

It divided people. Some saw the funny side, and others were, no doubt, offended.

But that's what you want an ad to do.

Not necessarily offend, at least not always. But split people, definitely.

Why? Like I said yesterday, if you try to be all things to all people, you end up being nothing to anybody.

Think briefly, who would be offended?

People who wouldn't be using Tulipán anyway.

So why would Tulipán want to please them? Better to repel them.

By repelling them, they're automatically capturing the attention of their target market.

People who find ads like that funny are people who will be buying Tulipán.

Tulipán used the emotions involved in sport to their benefit.

It might be an ad for a condom company. But it's great sports advertising.