Is Humility A Good Advertising Tool?

In recent months, consumers have seen two very different advertising campaigns built on an attitude of “Ooops. Please forgive us.”

On one hand, there was Toyota, who reached out to car buyers for clemency after initiating the largest recall in the history of the industry. The Toyota spots were sepia-tinged and sober and attempted to demonstrate a contrite and remorseful mood. They might as well have been a wayward suitor attempting to woo you back with flowers and a poem.

On the other hand, you have Domino’s, who seemed to take self-flagellation to an all-time high (or is it low?) with their ads that admitted just how crappy their pizza had been for several decades. Unlike the Toyota spots, this campaign was more like the school goof-off trying to convince his teacher that he could do a much better job on that paper if he could just get a second chance.

Regardless, both campaigns worked positively for their respective products (though perhaps the insane financing deals on Toyotas and the cut-price pizzas from Domino’s had something to do with it as well).

We want to know from you: What do you think of this sort of advertising? Does it make you give a second thought to a company you wouldn’t otherwise? What other companies, if any, should give this kind of ad campaign a shot?

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