Trolling the Competition – The Dark Side of Marketing

By 09/03/2018Ads, Digital

“Nice guys finish last” is a phrase that comes to mind when we think about brands engaging in what is commonly known as troll marketing. Sometimes brands need to turn to the dark side of marketing to provoke reactions from their target audience. This can often come in the form of brands calling out their customers or in some cases other brands to draw them into a war of words online or out of home. Below are some of the best examples of troll marketing we’ve seen.

1.Burger King: Scary Clown Night

Back when scary clowns were a thing, the folks over at Burger King decided to utilize all the hype around this. They started a campaign for during which the first 500 people to go to certain stores dressed as clowns would receive a free whopper. To support this campaign they created a video featuring an array of scary clowns, one of which stood out from the crowd. That’s right, the folks over at Burger King were having another clever pop at their rivals McDonalds by having their spokesman Ronald McDonald front and centre in this video.


As we all know by now, everytime we listen to a song on spotify it is recorded and logged under our profiles. For the music streaming giants new years campaign they took all that data and turned it into a series of billboards poking fun at their customers listening habit. This campaign turned out to be wildly successful gaining lots of attention from media and consumers alike.

3.Netflix US

Much like their music streaming cousins over at Spotify, the folks over at Netflix couldn’t help but poke fun at their customers viewing habits. This was an online campaign rather than billboards though. They use the customer data collected on the platform to release a stream of humorous light hearted tweets about their users streaming habits

4.Audi vs BMW Trolling War

When two behemoths of the motor industry decide to have a very public war, they don’t hold back. BMW and Audi released a stream of OOH advertisements in the form of giant billboards. This turned into a war of attrition between the two car manufacturers, to see who could out do the other in a metaphorical game of checkers. This trolling campaign resulted in tremendous amounts of social media coverage for the two brand, with passers by photographing the billboards and sharing them across social channels.

5. Microsoft vs Google Chrome

No explanation needed here. Just let the videos do the the talking. Two tech giants having a not so subtle pop at each other.

Microsoft then created their own version!!