Is it a good thing to be uncomfortable? Comfort can give us a false sense of ourselves. We believe falsehoods because we’re too comfortable with the lies in our life.

Discomfort can break through those lies. It can open your eyes to the reality of another person’s perspective.

This is the goal of gorilla marketing. To break through the comfortable world we’ve created for ourselves and make people pay attention.

The marketers over at Amazon Prime understand this well. They recently pulled a stunt on a Manhattan subway that had the internet in an uproar. It was so controversial the ad got pulled.

What can we learn from Amazon’s choice? Can we apply this to digital marketing? Let’s find out.

1. Nazi’s vs. the Japanese

The Amazon Prime TV show, “Man in the High Castle” speculates that if the Axis Powers had won World War 2, Nazi Germany and Japan would have divided the United States in two. Factions and rebellions would rise beneath the two ruling powers and that’s where we find most of our main characters.

But if you hadn’t seen the show or read the book it is based on, you wouldn’t know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. The title certainly doesn’t give away much about the plot.

How then do you convey exactly what this show is about? Recreate divided America on a subway train in New York City. Simple, right?

The marketing geniuses over at Amazon painted the seats on one side of the train with the flag of Nazi-occupied America and the other side of the train with the flag of Japan-occupied America. When passengers enter the train, they must decide which side to occupy.

Do you choose the Nazis in the East or the Japanese in the West? Or are you going to be a rebel and stand in the Neutral Zone?

2. Digital Marketing and Discomfort

Sometimes in digital marketing, we can be so close to the numbers we can’t see our audience. We understand how keywords and digital signals affect our rankings, but we have a hard time knowing what makes people sit up and pay attention.

Here our SERPs are top-notch and traffic is flowing, but maybe those aren’t translating to dollars. Maybe we need to figure out what makes our audience uncomfortable.

I’ve talked about the pain point before. That idea where marketers poke where it hurts and say “here’s how to make it better.” It’s how you compel people to buy your products and services. How then, as a digital marketer, do you plug into the pain point? We certainly can’t use the same kind of gorilla marketing employed by Amazon in New York City.

Content and Pain

Content is the missing piece here. It’s the one thing able to communicate with your audience and make them take notice.

Use content to poke one of the commonly-experienced pain points. Are you going to plug into someone’s financial pain points? They’re spending too much money on “x” and your product or service can help. Or how about productivity pain points? They waste too much time and “X” product can save time.

Give the Audience What They *Don’t Know* They Want

Google wants what your audience wants. And your audience doesn’t even know they want it. That’s a solution.

Amazon understood that “Man in the High Castle” scratches an itch audiences don’t even know they have. They tried valiantly to expose that itch and drive people to their show through discomfort.

Use quality content and pain points to drive your audience to your solution. You’ll see your digital marketing efforts reap ten-fold what they do now.

By Ben Mattice

Benjamin Mattice is a freelance writer/editor, horror and sci-fi writer, SEO and affiliate marketing newbie, dog wrestler, cat wrangler, capoeirista, and long distance runner. He lives in the Palouse with his wife, three dogs, two cats, and two rats. Yes, that would probably be considered a mini-zoo.