HomeBlog and ResourcesCase StudiesWe ‘insulted’ our customers with Facebook Ads – They Bought

We ‘insulted’ our customers with Facebook Ads – They Bought


What makes an ad with words like "Cheers, B*tch" not only acceptable but successful in today's market?

Traditional marketing strategies often fall flat in capturing the attention of an audience inundated with content.

Ad Ideas - triggering emotions
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In an era where the digital landscape is saturated with advertisements, standing out has become more of a challenge than ever before.

Traditional marketing strategies often fall flat in capturing the attention of an audience inundated with content. Can you imagine using 2000s content on Gen Zs these days? Their attention span would leave millions of expenses to waste!

Enter the audacious trend of profanity-inclusive ads—a bold approach tailored for a target demographic that prizes authenticity, empowerment, and a touch of rebellion. This blog delves into the art and science of marketing to the “reputation era” audience, exploring the effectiveness, nuances, and implications of using unfiltered language to forge genuine connections.

As societal norms evolve and the boundaries of acceptable public discourse shift, brands are increasingly looking to mirror the real conversations and emotions of their consumers. Profanity, once the realm of private exchanges, has found its way into the public sphere of advertising, resonating with a demographic that values directness and authenticity.

This exploration isn’t just about the shock value of profanity. It’s about understanding a deeper shift in consumer behavior and expectations. The “reputation era” audience—a term we use to encapsulate those who are fun-loving, empowered, and unapologetically themselves—demands more from the brands they support. They seek a reflection of their values, their humor, and their way of communicating, even if it means breaking traditional marketing “rules.”

Navigating this landscape requires a keen understanding of language, culture, and the emotional undercurrents that drive consumer behavior. It’s not merely about using profanity for the sake of being edgy. 

Join us as we dissect the phenomenon of profanity-inclusive advertising, from the psychology behind it to real-world applications like how we used “Cheers, B*tch” in one of our Facebook Ads campaign.

We’ll explore why these strategies work, how they’re executed, and the delicate balance brands must maintain to ensure their boldness is both effective and respectful.

Understanding the ‘Reputation Era’ Audience

In the heart of the digital age lies the ‘Reputation Era’ audience—a group defined not just by demographics but by a shared ethos. These are individuals who thrive on authenticity, seek empowerment, and embrace a culture that many might consider non-conformist. They are digital natives, savvy to the ins and outs of social media, and can smell disingenuous content from a mile away. This audience values brands that dare to be different, that speak their language, and that stand for more than just profit.

Authenticity Over Polish

Gone are the days when a polished, picture-perfect ad could win over the masses. Today’s consumers crave realness. They prefer content that feels unfiltered and spontaneous, something that resonates with their day-to-day experiences. Profanity, when used judiciously, can add that layer of authenticity, making a brand’s message feel more like a conversation among friends than a corporate broadcast.

Empowerment and Boldness

This audience doesn’t just want to buy; they want to buy into something. They are attracted to brands that empower them, that champion causes, and that aren’t afraid to take a stand. Using bold language or themes in advertising can signal confidence and a willingness to break the mold, qualities that the ‘Reputation Era’ audience admires.

A Rejection of Traditional Sales Tactics

The hard sell falls on deaf ears when it comes to this group. They’ve seen it all—the flash sales, the countdown timers, the “But wait, there’s more!” Instead, they respond to storytelling, to being part of a brand’s journey, and to ads that feel more like content and less like a pitch.

The Role of Humor and Edginess

Humor plays a pivotal role in connecting with this audience. It’s not just about making them laugh; it’s about showing that a brand doesn’t take itself too seriously, that it can be edgy, and that it understands the cultural zeitgeist. An ad with a well-placed swear word can be the perfect vehicle for this, assuming it aligns with the brand’s identity and audience expectations.

Understanding this audience’s preferences is crucial for any brand looking to make an impact in the current marketplace. It’s about more than just using profanity for shock value—it’s about crafting a message that aligns with their values, speaks their language, and respects their intelligence.

We 'insulted' our customers with Facebook Ads - They Bought

The Psychology Behind Profanity in Advertising

The use of profanity in advertising is more than just a tactic to shock or provoke; it’s a strategic play on human psychology. Profanity, by its very nature, is emotionally charged. It can express a range of emotions, from anger and frustration to joy and surprise. When used in advertising, it can create a powerful, visceral response, making the ad memorable and impactful.

Emotional Impact and Attention-Grabbing

First and foremost, profanity grabs attention. In a sea of advertisements, a well-placed swear word can act as a pattern interrupt, breaking the monotony and making people sit up and take notice. This is particularly effective in today’s fast-paced digital environment, where capturing a user’s attention within the first few seconds is crucial.

Moreover, profanity can heighten the emotional impact of an ad. It can add emphasis and intensity to a message, making it feel more passionate and genuine. When consumers feel a strong emotional connection to an ad, they are more likely to remember and engage with the brand.

Creating a Sense of Belonging

Using language that mirrors how people speak in their everyday lives can create a sense of intimacy and belonging. Profanity-inclusive ads can signal to the audience that the brand understands them and shares their values and attitudes. This can foster a sense of community and loyalty, as consumers feel seen and heard by the brand.

Balancing Edginess with Brand Image

While profanity can be effective, it’s essential to strike the right balance. It should feel organic to the brand’s voice and the message being conveyed, rather than forced or gratuitous. Brands must also consider their wider audience and the context in which the ad will be seen to avoid alienating or offending potential customers.

Furthermore, the novelty of profanity in advertising can wear off if overused. Brands must be strategic in their approach, using it sparingly and in ways that truly enhance the message and resonate with their target audience.

Navigating Cultural Sensitivities

It’s also important to navigate cultural and social sensitivities carefully. What might be considered playful and edgy in one context could be offensive in another. Understanding the cultural norms and values of the target audience is crucial in executing a profanity-inclusive ad campaign successfully.


The strategic incorporation of profanity in advertising underscores a deeper understanding of human psychology and the evolving landscape of consumer engagement. It challenges traditional notions of advertising, pushing brands to adopt a more genuine and relatable voice. However, the effectiveness of this approach hinges on a brand’s ability to balance edginess with empathy, ensuring that the use of profanity enhances rather than detracts from the message.

In navigating the delicate interplay between attention-grabbing tactics and maintaining brand integrity, it’s crucial for advertisers to consider the wider cultural and social context of their audience. The goal should always be to enrich the brand-consumer relationship, using language that resonates on a personal level without crossing the bounds of respect and inclusivity.

Ultimately, the successful use of profanity in advertising reflects a brand’s commitment to authenticity, a deep understanding of its audience, and a willingness to engage in conversations that mirror the real, unfiltered exchanges of everyday life. 

As we move forward, it will be fascinating to see how brands continue to leverage the nuanced power of language to connect with consumers in an increasingly crowded and diverse marketplace.


Soodo is an eCommerce Venture Builder for Purpose-driven Brands | We build & scale profitable DTC businesses.

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