Eli Manning has been on a good run lately. Not only have he and his big-bro Peyton taken the football broadcasting business by storm, he’s also the new pitchman for one of the more entertaining ad campaigns of the year: a marketing blitz from culinary staple Frank’s RedHot.

What makes this campaign so notable you ask? Well, it mostly comes down to Eli jeopardizing his squeaky-clean image with a tasteful dash of profanity at the end of each spot. The premise is that Eli—now retired and bored—is experimenting with new ways of using Frank’s RedHot. (For the uninitiated, it’s a cayenne-y, vinegar-y concoction). For example, he waters plants with it. Or uses it as fishing bait.

But the stinger at the end of the spots smartly ties them together as Eli—with his innocent Southern twang—claims to “put that shit on everything.” Which, frankly, makes me laugh.

But is it offensive? Tasteless? Risky? Most important, is it effective advertising?

Maybe. Is that tagline offensive to some? Sure. But it’s also going to command attention from people like me who probably wouldn’t have otherwise remembered the spots at all. Because don’t forget: In spite of being taboo in some settings, swearing is an imminently relatable thing. Ninety-nine percent of people curse at least occasionally. Even grandma can let loose an f-bomb if she drops the Bundt cake.

When it comes to effectiveness, things get murkier. On one hand, swearing is inherently funny to most, it’s something people can bond over, and it shows the brand is willing to take risks. If a brand is already known as irreverent, it may not even be that much of a stretch.

Where swearing can be really effective though is when it’s totally out of character for the brand—which is also inherently risky. In those situations, things can go left quickly. (Just ask the Jell-O marketing execs about their ill-fated “Fun My Life” campaign—it was a total disconnect with their primary audiences.)

But there are other instances of cursing in ads that are not only effective, they went viral, giving brands new life. It’s usually because the swearing involves a clever pun or gimmick, a powerful message, or something that’s self-deprecating. In other words, it may be crass, but it’s thoughtful.

Here are three timeless examples:

Kmart – Ship My Pants

Most people probably still remember this viral campaign from about eight years ago; it was a bit of a phenomenon. Maybe because you’d never expect something like this from Kmart, a company much more associated with bath towels and back-to-school supplies than racy rhetoric. But because it was so unexpected—and because it was actually selling a new, useful service for Kmart customers—the campaign still resonates almost a decade later.

KFC – We’re Sorry

KFC "FCK" apology ad

KFC took the self-deprecating approach to apologize to customers in Britain for the infamous chicken shortage of 2018. Because they couldn’t serve their famous bird, the franchise was forced to close almost 1,000 stores for a brief period, leading to massive outrage amongst the fried-chicken-eating faithful. But KFC took it in stride by rearranging their letters to “FCK” and offering a very rational paragraph explaining the mess. It’s a great example of a company changing a problem into an opportunity—all while flipping themselves the bird. Check out the full ad here.

Bud Light – Swear Jar

This is one of my all-time favorite spots, with or without swearing. It’s a smart premise from an already irreverent brand. And while it doesn’t do much to sell the product, I think beer companies get a pass for this kind of thing. Mostly because everyone already knows what the product does. (It gets you drunk.)

Back to our old pal Eli

Is he doing Frank’s RedHot any favors by cursing in their ads? Despite it being good for a chuckle, probably not. The campaign makes the sauce look kind of gross, and despite being good for brand awareness, I’m not sure it’s going to actually convince anyone to buy it.

But clearly, swearing in advertising isn’t a useless exercise when done right. You’ve got to make it smart, unexpected, and most important, a good fit for your brand—even if it’s not typical for your brand.

So the big question: Should your brand be okay with swearing? If you’ve got a curse word that helps drive a great idea that will engage your audiences—and you have an appetite for risk—I say go for it. But one caveat: Don’t put it on everything.