What is hype and why has it become popular not only in youth slang?

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What is hype and why has it become popular not only in youth slang?

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

The word “hype”  in English means noise or commotion. Previously, this term referred to aggressive and provocative advertising, which provoked loud discussions. Unlike traditional advertising, the hype does not aim to tell about the positive qualities of the product — still, only provocative methods to attract attention to it, to be remembered as much as possible. When talking about a product or service using standard methods, you are likely to end up in 96% of communications, which people, unfortunately, overlook.


You will be heard if you take a risk and create hype advertising. But will people fall in love? Will they not associate with the negative forever in their imagination? It would be best to think twice before launching even a slight provocation.

Several hype cases for analysis

Mother of Dragons and Starbucks

For at least one day in May this year, everyone was talking about one thing – accidentally left a glass of Starbucks on the table in front of Daenerys in the final season of “Game of Thrones.”

Marketing and communications experts immediately suspected product placement, but the NGO later denied the allegations, citing the inattention of the show’s creators.

Stacy Jones, CEO of marketing company Hollywood Branded, estimated the value of “unintentional” advertising at $ 2.3 billion. In 48 hours, Starbucks and Game of Thrones have been mentioned in more than 193,000 publications.

In his blog, Oleksandr Todorchuk, creative director of Gres Todorchuk, says that such figures cannot appear due to inattention. In addition, a company like Starbucks is known for its original approach to communications. For example, there is a suspicion that the fact that Starbucks coffee shops constantly make mistakes in names is just a PR tool that gives thousands of free additional mentions on social networks. Imagine how many people take pictures of their glasses with “changed” names!

Deliberate or well-thought-out hype still is a hype in the Middle Ages.

Provocations from “Hercules”

It is not the first year that Hercules ice cream has shocked people with its provocative promo and competed for the title of the worst advertisement.

Just look:

These are billboards of the company of different years. The campaign with “tongues” was developed in 2011, and after each wave, it received a barrage of criticism and negativity. However, the company continues to adhere to this brand idea and continues to be exposed to the discussion.

And although the creators of this campaign (Ogilvy & Mather Ukraine) say that the fact is that the Ukrainian audience is not ready for bold ideas, and the world experience has more vivid examples, it seems that the ultimate goal and expected effect of this advertising is hype.

“Everyone wants to be a hero!”

Sometimes the hype turns into a provocative message about a competitor. And this motivates companies to get more creative and whole marketing battles. Recall the case of Pepsi and Coca-Cola, companies competing since the 80s of the last century. Pepsi has launched a poster online in which a can of drink was wrapped under a cloak with the competitor’s logo with the inscription: “We wish you a terrible Halloween!”.

The move from Coca-Cola has become even more creative and exciting. The company released the same poster with the caption: “Everyone wants to be a hero!”.

Experts compare hype advertising with a sharp blade, which in skilled hands will perform the task well, but for the inexperienced, it will do irreparable damage.

Therefore, it is advisable to entrust the implementation of hype advertising only to professionals – people who will first conduct a detailed analysis and be able to predict the reaction of the public.

As communicators, we must warn that we should use the hype as a tool should with caution:

  1. Never use any gender/sexist/anti-semitic things in your messages. The audience will not forgive and even make a little-known company scandalously famous.
  2. Evaluate whether hype advertising is part of your communication matrix. If your target audience is too conservative, accustomed to some messages from your brand and suddenly gets something new and provocative, it can make them abandon you.
  3. You need to clearly understand the goal and be aware of all the possible risks.

If the risks justify your goal, give it a try.