1. Doom's Update Button – You Better Deserve It
  2. Search Marketing Community replies on Twitter
  3. Wix campaign described as uncomfortable
  4. Positive campaigns and goodwill
  5. Check out the Wix Negative Attack Ad: Doom's Update

Negative Wix ads attacking WordPress have caused a strong anti-Wix response online. Promotional Bose headphones sent to developers and online marketing influencers as part of the campaign did not prevent recipients from publicly questioning the promotional efforts with a negative attack.

The campaign didn't seem to make anyone in the WordPress community appreciate Wix. The campaign actually seemed to backfire as many expressed negative reactions to Wix.

Doom's Update Button – You Better Deserve It

The Wix negative campaign appeared to be aimed at portraying WordPress in an extremely negative light in the context of a mental health crisis.

A video titled The Update of Doom was typical of the attacks against WordPress. In it is a web developer in mental health counseling.

The caption is that WordPress is so bad that the web developer needs psychiatric help.

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Screenshot of the Wix ad depicting a web developer in a WordPress-induced mental crisis

Screenshot of a web developer portrayed as a mentally challenged person

The choice to portray WordPress in the context of mental health issues is odd given that so many people are suffering from pandemic-related mental health crises.

According to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation:

“During the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults in the US reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder … out of one in 10 adults who reported these symptoms from January to June 2019

… During the pandemic, an above-average proportion of young adults (aged 18 to 24 years) reported symptoms of anxiety and / or depressive disorders (56%). Compared to all adults, young adults report substance use (25% versus 13%) and suicidal ideation (26% versus 11%) more often. "

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The Wix ad stages a psychiatric visit for comedic effects by portraying WordPress as an insensitive person causing mental agony.

Some may find the ad trivializing mental health by using it in a comedic context, especially because WordPress was portrayed as a grotesquely ill person with eyes spinning in their eye sockets.

Screenshot from Wix Ad depicting WordPress with rolling eyes in their sockets

WordPress is portrayed as a grotesque mentally ill personWix depicted WordPress as a grotesquely ill person with eyeballs spinning around in their eye sockets

And this was just one of several advertisements that were staged as a mental crisis.

Some of the responses on YouTube expressed disapproval:

"It's surprising that Wix isn't embarrassed to post such content. Who in the world thought that was a good idea?"

"WOW, how deep can you go, that's called the bottom of the barrel"

“Shame on you, Wix. I never thought about using your services and I never will. "

Search Marketing Community replies on Twitter

The reaction on Twitter was similar, where Jon Henshaw (@henshaw) expressed his disapproval of the negative advertising approach, noting that only bad products are marketed this way.

When I look at this anti-WordPress campaign from @Wix and just think about how much they are asking the universe to hack them and how embarrassing that is going to be for them. Also, I really don't like this approach to marketing. I usually only see inferior products marketed this way.

– Jon Henshaw (@henshaw) April 7, 2021

John also noted that the Wix ads may have erased the goodwill Wix had built within the SEO community:

What I'm interested in is that in the last year or so there has been a feeling that Wix was wooing SEOs and improving itself.

By shitting WP, a popular and widely used CMS by many SEOs, all goodwill is erased. And many of us SEOs influence which CMS a company chooses.

– Jon Henshaw (@henshaw) April 7, 2021

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Wix campaign described as uncomfortable

Shelly Fagin (@shellyfagin), a recipient of the headphones promotion, also tweeted that she expected to hear of positive things about Wix only to face a negative attack campaign that she described as uncomfortable.

As a headphone receiver, I was totally confused by all of this. I was expecting to receive information about new features and / or fixes that would make it more attractive to me. I'm not a fan of spanking others to benefit myself so it felt very uncomfortable to me.

– Shelly Fagin (@shellyfagin) April 7, 2021

Michelle Lowery (@MichelleDLowery) disapproved of negative news:

Wow. I hadn't seen any of these videos before. That reminds me of politicians who launched the negative election campaign. Don't tell me how awful the other candidate is. That does not mean anything. Tell me what you gonna do for me I can decide for myself without the mud flinging.

– Michelle Lowery (@MichelleDLowery) April 7, 2021

Positive campaigns and goodwill

One of the hallmarks of a valued brand is the goodwill that customers and even non-customers show towards the company. While the response to the ads has not been generally negative, the majority of the responses have been. Many expressed disappointment with the Wix approach.

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Check out the Wix Negative Attack Ad: Doom's Update

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