4 Most Effective Advertising Controversy By Neil Patel

Existence of controversy in corporate advertising has been a great topic of debate.

However, it has fueled growth for some companies.

This is because Advertising Controversy connects a brand deeply and emotionally with the prospects and consumers.

It helps in reaching out to the new audience and building stronger bonds with the existing ones. I will let you know how this happens in this article but first, you should know about Neil Patel.

Ever heard about his crazy marketing techniques?

controversial ads in the philippines 2020

Knowing about the positive side of marketing controversies and implementing it smartly,Neil Patel, a renowned internet entrepreneur has inspired millions.

He is served as the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Kissmetrics, Hello Bar, and now doing the same at NP Digital (Neil Patel Digital). Moreover, he has helped companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Airbnb, and others by marketing, pushing growth, and earning high ROI.

As a brilliant marketer, Neil Patel focuses on both qualitative and quantitative data that refers to some metrics and feedback. He has used some controversial marketing strategies to build his empire.

No doubt, Neil Patel is a great marketer whose story deserves to be covered under rags to riches stories of entrepreneurs. From selling burn CDs to establishing a successful internet marketing company, he is the web entrepreneur that every marketer admires.

Let us find how he managed to earn $4.4 million with a controversial advertisements experiment.

What is Advertising Controversy?

Before going deeper into Neil’s controversial experiments, I want to tell you something about the advertising controversy.

Controversy advertising when applied effectively has the power to affect and change societal values in the right manner. It’s a way to bring the attention of people towards your product, service, or overall brand image.

The technique of advertising controversy revolves around the opinion and moral values of people but it does not involve polarizing target audiences.

In fact, any sensitive social issue can be opinionated that is associated with the audience’s views and beliefs. Coming back to the top of the article, advertising controversy builds up relations with the customers. It allows them to share their personal opinion and belief in front of the world.

As a result, like-minded people come together to spread the relevant message as per the advertising campaign and social issues being addressed. It gives rise to disagreement and even the brand may lose some customers. Regardless of all these, the brand succeeds at getting exposure from various people.

To understand it better, you can go through unethical advertising examples and recent controversial ads 2020. For now, I want to discuss two of the most popular controversial print ads of PepsiCo and Nike.

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1) PepsiCo

marketing controversies


Let us start with PepsiCo that ended up doing advertising controversy in April 2017. The company was receiving criticism for running an ad campaign titled “Live for Now – Moments”. The purpose of the ad was to convey the message of unity, peace, and understanding to millennials.

Due to following an insensitive approach to the passing message, Kendall Jenner along with PepsiCo was being hated. The ad failed badly so PepsiCo had to remove it after few hours of posting.

This affected their business to some extent but only for few months. It successfully grabbed the attention of millions but left a negative impact. Thus, brands must concentrate on the issue more than their product.

2) Nike

marketing controversies


In the 2016 NFL season, Colin Kaepernick came into controversy for kneeling during National Anthem to support the protest against racial inequality. This banned him from playing in NFL. After that, no team signed him.

At the same time, Nike’s Dream Crazy ad campaign launched. It aimed at promoting athletes who followed their dream and made it a big success. Nike wanted to help Colin and it started supporting “Black Lives matter”.  Many people found themselves connecting to this campaign.

After the ad release, Nike observed a hike of 31% in its sales, and that too when some were fully against Nike’s step. This effective advertising controversy worked out for the 85th Fortune 500 company.

How Neil Patel used Controversy Advertising for building his business?

In his teenage years, Neil Patel already knew what he wanted to do so he started working on selling. It wasn’t something that he truly wanted to do as his heart was craving for more. Entrepreneurship was in his blood so the interest in marketing helped him in building a website when he was just 16.

While growing up, he acquired plenty of knowledge related to advertising and marketing businesses online. He even helped in the marketing of an electronic company of his classmate.

Today, Neil Patel is recognized as the top 10 internet marketer expert. Do you want to know how this happened? Explore his widely known advertising controversy marketing experiments.

1) Copying Dan Bilzerian Strategy

For promoting himself and his business, he spent around $57000 on Instagram and adopted the marketing strategy of Dan Bilzerian. If you don’t know about him, Dan Bilzerian Instagram feed is full of sexy women’s pictures. Neil Patel tried the same on his blog banner and Instagram marketing.

The results were surprising and he was getting business deals along with a higher ranking in SERP and increased website visitors. It yielded fruits for the long run. He had no intention of degrading women.

All he did to get the best possible results from his campaign. For doing so, he faced criticism but some were also supporting him.

2) Use of Infographic

When people were saying that designing infographics is a time-consuming process, Neil Patel wasn’t paying attention to them. He kept using infographic on Kissmetrics, which assisted in producing thousands of links.

This advertising controversy experiment turned out as a fruitful marketing stunt.

3) Giveaway

Neil Patel suggests giving away something for free that your competitor is providing at some charges. Thus, he acquired Ubersuggest for around $100,000 and aligned it with neilpatel.com. He made all the paid features available free of cost.

After the acquisition of Ubersuggest, the traffic on his site surged to 50%. But for a marketer, creativity is a must and you have to be a bit crazy.

4) Investing in Lifestyle

neil patel, controversial marketing

In business, your clients value you depending on the way you talk and dress. Neil Patel had enough money to spend on his lifestyle. He did some tests by tweaking business attires and changing watches by spending around $2.1 million.

Apart from that, he even invested in cars and real estate. With every change in his lifestyle, he noticed that different kinds of people were getting attracted to him. So, all he did was choosing the lifestyle that gave him more reputation and ROI.

Neil Patel found that his closing ratio increased from 25% to 40% with all the changes in his lifestyle. Here, the closing ratio means the meeting that leads to a deal. Such advertising controversy boosted up his brand and personal image.

Wrapping it Up

Advertising controversy is not new but only with the right strategy and execution, a brand can earn decent ROI. If a brand is planning merely on exposure, it should not involve itself into a negative ad campaign. Besides, deliver change to society to get value from them in return. Address societal issues and align it in your ad campaign for reaping best results.

Don’t forget about trying Ubersuggest or its competitive Semrush SEO tool to get most out of your blog. Employing advertising controversy in your business for publicity  is a good idea too.

Disclaimer – Please note that some of the links are affiliates and will come at no extra cost for your end. However, I may earn a commission when you buy any products from my link. Please be assured that I only recommend products that are worthy and benefiting to you.

Thank you for reading through.

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