Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel is sponsored by Trackur.

‘Don’t Trust the B-’ Pushes the Boundaries of Branding

ABC just launched a new comedy series titled Don’t Trust the B– in Apartment 23. Even without the missing letters, it’s pretty clear to all of use what the “B” represents, especially after you’ve seen two minutes of the show.

Standards being what they are, ABC can’t write in those extra letters and it’s probably just as well. Written out, the title would be very harsh, but with the mysterious “B–”, it’s quirky and cute.

According to CNN, the show’s cast didn’t believe it at first and then they got totally behind the title.

Says star Krysten Ritter,

“If I say ‘Don’t Trust the B– in Apartment 23.’ If it’s ‘Apartment 23,’ I have to explain way more. It makes my life so much easier!”

This is not the first time we’ve seen this kind of branding. In 2010, CBS went forward with $#*! My Dad Says, based on a Twitter with a more colorful name.

In both of these cases, the foul language hasn’t come back to bite them in the a–, but that doesn’t mean it’s a smart rule to follow.

With standards becoming more lax everyday, you may feel it’s time to spice up your ad campaign with colorful language or boundary pushing imagery. It’s working for ABC. It works for Carl’s Jr. and Victoria’s Secret. Could it work for you?

The target audience is a big factor. These products appeal more to a trendier, younger crowd. But is it worth the chance that other sectors will boycott your product? If you believe that even bad publicity is good publicity, then why not? All you’ve got to lose are your customers.