They say that any press is good press, and while that phrase typically gets used in reference to explicitly negative content, the same could be said of intentionally self-deprecating publicity. Though it might seem counter-intuitive, companies that make use of self-deprecation can attract more consumers by showing off their awareness of the more absurd aspects of their industry (rather than exemplifying those absurdities directly.)
Bell's whisky hit the perfect sweet spot of irony in its self-deprecating Christmas ad. The ad, which was released in early November, begins with the lead actor ridiculing early holiday commercials, before the camera pans back to reveal carolers and Christmas trappings — showing that the ad is itself an early Christmas campaign.
Self-deprecating publicity stunts can take the form of material products as well. For instance, Nissin's 'Ultima Weapon Fork' makes fun of the 'Final Fantasy' video game franchise's comically outsized weaponry. The massive fork is ostensibly designed for eating ramen noodle cups, though it's far too big to be practical.
14 Self-Deprecating Publicity Stunts
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Fantastical Novelty Noodle Forks
Parody Meat Sandwiches
Comedian-Studded Fashion Editorials
Universal Marketing Parody Ads