The adman’s role as the Supergo refereeing over the consumer’s Id and Ego – good vs. bad. Is well known.
Throughout the decades, advertisers have used metaphors and symbols to personify concepts, labelled as ‘bad’ or even ‘evil’ – that can be conquered by the consumer armed with ‘brand-x’. (Perhaps a washing powder, or breakfast cerial … software and so on).
When the advertising agency gets the opportunity to actually have a real evil charachter to help them push their message of good vs. bad, it offers dual -edged benefits.
Firstly it get’s PR attention – simply by being controversial. This is especially true for viral campaigns.
Secondly lampooning the charachter gives the consumer a sense of their moral social strengths.
Here are some genune examples of how Bin Laden was featued in advertising during his ten year reign of sitting on a crate in a corner of a shabby room – unoticed by the Pakistani secret intelligence headed up by Mr Magoo. (scroll to bottom).