Plus, having a negative reaction to a campaign isn't necessarily a bad thing, Gallagher added.
"We love to see peer-to-peer sharing more than just a mild 'like' or just getting enough interaction to get someone to click a like button or smiley face," he said. "We like ideas getting their own gravity by being shared. A big way we do that is to try and put work out there that has a little bit of tension, that could be a bit polarizing for one audience."
For example, Deutsch launched an Angel Soft campaign for single mothers that wished them a happy Father's Day for being "soft and strong supporting parents." Gallagher said a group that supported men's rights became angry, saying that Angel Soft was taking away the one holiday for men. Because social media can spread sentiment far and fast, Gallagher said that the fringe group became vocal even though they didn't represent the sentiment of the majority.
"There is an overpresent minority that tends to talk a lot more and rile things up in a lot of people," Gallagher said. "They're going to get our idea in front of people that don't agree with them, and share the ideas that our brand shares. (Those people who don't agree) are who we're looking to connect with. If there are people that don't share our values, that's OK."
Sandwick pointed out other campaigns that took negativity and turned them positive, including agency Droga5's "Honey Maid: Love" ad. The company took anti-LGBT comments made on a previous Honey Maid ad called "This is Wholesome" that featured gay and lesbian couples, printed them out and created a paper sculpture of the word "love" out of the hateful sentiments. It's been viewed more than 4.3 million times on YouTube. The original ad has now been viewed almost 8.2 million times.
"I think it's always going to be critical not to let consumers dictate how brands behave, but how brands listen to consumers should dictate what is important to them," Sandwick said.