Marketing campaigns are all around us. Just take a look at your surroundings, we are all flooded with advertising campaigns every day. It takes a lot for marketers to produce marketing campaigns that are able to successfully capture the minds of consumers. That being said, we will definitely need to learn a thing or two from these successful marketing campaigns. In this post, we will be taking a closer look at the top 10 marketing campaigns chosen by us! These campaigns are selected based on its marketing concept and marketing objectives.
1. Fearless Girl
So what did this statue - a young girl facing down Wall Street’s Charging Bull statue do to earn its status as one of the best marketing campaigns of 2017? The brain behind this campaign marketing concept is Mccann advertising agency, and is created for a financial advisory firm - State Street Global Advisors (SSGA).
SSGA highly believes in creating and promoting gender diversity. With International Women’s Day becoming a highly celebrated event, it was a good timing to create awareness for the brand in the consumer space. The installation of the statue went up the night before International Women’s day.
Although Fearless Girl was a success in generating close to US$7.5 million in free marketing across social media, making Fearless Girl an icon was not its main marketing objective. SSGA’s aim was to promote the anniversary of ‘SHE Fund’ that invests in companies that have women in top leadership positions.
The image was first posted in a Twitter status, and got viral online. Within the first 12 hours, the image reached more than 1bn Twitter impressions. 12 weeks later, the figure has increased to 4.6bn, and a total of 215,000 Instagram posts related to the statue were shared.
Leveraging on the virality of Fearless Girl, SSGA expressed its support for gender diversity by investing in companies that put have women in leadership positions. Although gender equality has been a sensitive issue, SSGA still expressed its support bravely. This has enabled SSGA to be in the positive light for taking the first step to support gender equality, providing benefits to other companies who support as well. Overall, Fearless Girl is successful in reaching its marketing objective through a marketing campaign that is not seen as a stun.
One main takeaway would be for B2B companies to start focusing on B2C for brand awareness as word of mouth and virality should not be taken lightly. In-your-face marketing campaigns are getting obsolete. It is getting increasingly important to create marketing campaigns that are not seen as a stun.
2. Shot on iPhone - ‘Summer Everywhere’
It is not difficult to find Apple users anywhere and Apple knows it. iPhone is mostly loved for its clear camera photos, don’t you think so?
Apple launched a global out-of-home campaign all over the world, from Singapore to London! With a marketing concept theme focusing on summer, they got Apple users to take photos that best represent all the summery fun. What does summer mean to you? For Apple users, it represents pets, beaches, kids in pools, water slides and adventurous activities.
With aims to continue the ‘Shot on iPhone’ series which has been continuing for years, Apple hopes to create user-generated content among its fans. The campaign has proved its capability in achieving the marketing objective behind this marketing advertising campaign!
We believe it's one of the least ‘in your face’ type of marketing campaign as Apple has managed to deliver a product pitch into an iconic execution! Still sceptical about the successfulness of this marketing campaign? Don’t forget the fact that Apple just marketed their waterproof phones with those beach photos, smooth right. With so many phones in the market with a good camera, this was a good campaign to remind consumers of iPhone’s camera.
So what if the whole world knows about you? That doesn’t mean you should stop trying. As the market starts getting more competitive, it is extremely important to stay on track to keep the consumer brand top of mind. Do not get big-headed and stay humble!
3. Heineken 'Open Your World'
Cheers! Wait, there’s more than just beers. Do you remember the brand’s cringy past advertisements? This marketing advertising campaign in 2017 will open your world about Heineken, literally. Heineken conducted a study and found out that the brand message ‘Open Your World’ has been interpreted as a stressful one, as the new generation is left with many social issues waiting for them to solve in the real world.
With that, the marketing objective was to adjust its brand positioning to focus on letting the new generation enjoy life over some beer. Keeping this in mind, the campaign of the year was born.
The newly branded Open Your World campaign concept focuses on things that unite people, rather than divide. Heineken brought a group of people from different background together for a social experiment. Then, two people were paired together to find common ground, over a pint of Heineken beer.
The video has since went viral, while creating emotional connections with the consumers. Heineken has successfully spread the new brand message of being open to others and making the world a more interesting place. This has enabled viewers to feel a sense of belonging in the world, and not feel indifferent about themselves. Despite differences in opinions, everyone is eventually on the same page with a pint of Heineken beer. Watch the video and you will know why it’s one of the better marketing advertising campaigns in 2017. We can discuss over a pint of beer, if you wish! ;)
Social experiments have been viewed as ‘genuine’ and ‘relatable’ by consumers. Social experiments is definitely something that other brands should look into, especially if it resonates with the brand’s values. Another brand that is good at creating emotional connections through the use of social experiment is Dove.
4. Spotify: Play This At My Funeral
Spotify takes the cake for having one of the funniest marketing campaign ever! If you are an avid YouTuber, you might have probably seen one of those ‘play this at my funeral’ comment on some music videos. It's usually because the song is totally inappropriate for a funeral and hard to imagine how epic it will be. But well, you don’t have to imagine anymore because Spotify made it come true.
This campaign was created with aims to remind consumers of the brand’s values, beliefs and tagline.
Leveraging on the ‘play this at my funeral’ trend, the video features Joe Jonas, who has previously mentioned how “messed up” it would be to hear DCNE’s “body moves” during a funeral. There we have it, a video filled with teary-eyed attendees grooving along to the song.
We found it funny and no doubt this ad became a new meme for the internet people. This was something you wouldn't expect from Spotify, which captured the attention of consumers. With a lightheartedness approach on a serious topic, this has indeed enlightened how Spotify is really ‘All the music you’ll ever need’. Perhaps, people might really start using Spotify for funerals.
In recent times, more marketing campaigns revolve around emotions such as sadness and anger. Little did they know that ‘humorous’ can do the job as well, or even better. It is important to research on what your brand or product can do in the most absurd situations, and make the best out of it.
5. IKEA: The Place App
IKEA knows you love them only for their food and they want to change it. Thanks to The Place mobile application, you will be in love with IKEA’s furniture once again.
The marketing objective of the campaign was to dismiss the uncertainty level of consumers and help them with the interior design.
Making use of the new technology - augmented-reality (AR), buying IKEA furniture has become fuss-free. The app allows consumers to ‘place’ IKEA furniture into their spaces virtually. Most importantly, the app is able to scale the products based on the rooms’ dimensions, up to 98% accuracy.
We are already impressed! Moreover, 2,000 IKEA products are available on the app. This has captured the hearts of tech-savvy millennials who are all about being fuss-free, convenience and technology. The newly implemented app features would prevent consumers from going through the anxiety of being afraid of buying wrong furniture. So get going, download the app and get these furniture into your house! It is no surprise how this innovative marketing campaign went viral in 2017.
One main takeaway from this marketing campaign is to always try to incorporate usability into a marketing campaign. This campaign has not only bring convenience to consumers, but also branded IKEA as an innovative and tech-savvy brand. By solving the needs of consumers, brands are bound to put themselves in a positive light.
6. Share the Load - Ariel
Despite being in a patriarchal society, Ariel bravely initiated a global conversation around gender equality. The video features the husband of a young successful wife, who relies on his working wife to do laundry. The video ends with a question - #IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob, which triggered various discussions on social media. Ariel has managed to use its position wisely in breaking stereotypes on a global scale.
By showing the progressive gender roles, Ariel is moving forward with times. Ariel has proven to the world that small changes would lead to big changes, as they aim to create gender equality from home.
The marketing concept of the campaign enabled Ariel to portray a progressive thinking from both genders. The campaign has allowed viewers to resonate with the brand, while increasing the brand awareness of Ariel at the same time.
The original Facebook post has received 6.4M likes on Facebook with 124k shares and 132k reaction. Gender inequality has always been a sensitive topic, but Ariel pulled it off well, putting the brand in a good light. This is something other brands would want to learn from, especially if they still have an older way of thinking. Stick to an old way of thinking and brands would soon get shoved out of conversations. This campaign was successful in connecting the voices of women together, which definitely had an impact in changing the concept of masculinity.
Some takeaways that other brands can learn from would be to focus on what your brand believes in, rather than to conform to society’s beliefs. It is important to be the voice, rather than to be the echo of others. Though it may be risky to touch on sensitive issues, this brave step of yours might leave a mark in the mind of others for a long time.
7. Timely- Airbnb
Airbnb has always been one of the few brands that believe truly in inclusivity.
With that, the #weaccept campaign concept focuses on treating and accepting all members of the human race the same regardless of religion, race, and gender etc. It can be found in its Airbnb Community Commitment that Airbnb highlights the importance of inclusivity and diversity.
Days after President Trump’s travel ban, Airbnb capitalized on this political issue to show their full support to support anyone and everyone from different backgrounds. How timely, indeed. This way, Airbnb has achieved its objective of creating a brand positioning that focuses on inclusivity and acceptance. The campaign shows people of different gender and ethnic backgrounds connecting with each other, together with a message, “We believe no matter who you are, where you’re from, who you love, or who you worship, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.” The campaign resonates with Airbnb’s mission that wins over the hearts and minds of consumers into the urban housing market. This has helped direct towards a lot into positive branding.
The advertisement has since reached 5 million views on Youtube and 100,000 views on Instagram. Capitalizing on political issues may be a tricky move, but it is definitely a timely move to create positive perceptions of the brand. Good job, Airbnb!
Timing is the key to a successful marketing campaign. Consumers absorb and move on from trends and news really fast. It needs to catch on news quickly and push a marketing campaign when the news is still talk of the town. If the timing is right, brands will be able to enjoy ‘free marketing’ from the virality of the news.
8. Empowerment - Be The Guy
Bid goodbye to the days where brands use guilt and sadness as the main emotional drivers. This campaign was nicely executed, with a marketing concept on empowerment.
Facing a lack of bone marrow from 18-24 years old men, Be The Match had to do something about this hard-to-reach donors.
Stroking on the ego of this age group, Be the Match created campaigns with messages implying that by being young and male, it qualifies you to save a life. This concept has been driven from observations that young men these days struggle with self-doubt, despite yearning for greatness. From this finding, Be the Match went on to demonstrate how these young men can play an essential in curing life-threatening diseases just by being a donor. This would be a noble act as it allows them to be the hero these patients need in their lives. Eventually, thousands have registered as donors and increased the demographic on the registry by more than 50%.
Naturally, this group started feeling good as advertisements were celebrating the marvellous and uniqueness of this group of donors. The campaign was (obviously!) well-received on social media as it generated 212 million impressions. Thankfully the marketing objective was met, as the charity saw a 280% increase in new donors. I am guessing this is what ‘a little compliment goes a long way’ means!
One main takeaway from this campaign is how Be The Match changed focus from the patients to the donors. Instead of expressing how much the brand needs consumer - which consumers already know, brands can focus on how much these consumers can contribute to the brand.
9. Gucci - #TFWGucci
It is easy to jump on any internet trends, but definitely difficult to capitalize on it successfully. Here we have a perfect example - Gucci’s #TFWGucci campaign, where it leveraged on a trend on the right people and at the right timing!
The main marketing objective was for youngsters to create an enthusiasm around the brand.
Gucci found the right opportunity when the internet-born catchphrase ‘That Feeling When’ started trending. Gucci quickly create a marketing campaign concept that focuses on the hashtag #TFWGucci (That feeling when Gucci). The caption is usually accompanied with a meme picture with Gucci products in it.
Of course, Gucci captured the hearts of the internet people, accumulating an average of 67,000 likes and 700 comments per post. With so much ongoing buzz around the brand, Gucci was definitely the talk of the town. #TFWGucci marketing is on point.
It is important for brands to try something new and not stick to the old conventional marketing techniques. Although trends have a short lifespan, it is worth a try to join in social media fads. This is especially so when social media is free marketing!
10. Nike - Breaking 2
Nothing is impossible.. Nike did it again.
With a marketing objective to promote the Vaporfly Elite shoes, Nike challenged three champion marathons runners to break a two-hour marathon record.
In line with Nike’s brand message, the marketing campaign concept revolves around to push the limits and trying the impossible. The challenge for the three champion marathon runners, Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa, and Zersenay Tadese was live streamed on various social media platforms such as Youtube, Twitter and Facebook. Although the runners missed the goal by 26 seconds, fans were deeply moved by the determination of these runners.
The campaign earned 2 trillion impressions of the hashtag #Breaking2. Making full use of the high virality of the campaign, Nike took a further step to collaborate with National Geographic to develop a documentary of the record attempt. The campaign has helped to engage a larger audience as a whole, while in line with the brand’s message of nothing is impossible.
Instead of promoting your product with its unique selling point, try engaging popular key opinion leaders that are relevant to your brand if necessary. If the marketing budget is higher, you may organize campaigns to collaborate with this influencer, such as what Nike has done. A product may just be left unnoticed by consumers if they are not further endorsed or promoted by key opinion leaders.
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Despite being in a heavily marketed world, the ten marketing campaigns stood out because of the thought process and execution. We believe that for a marketer to create a successful campaign, it is important to think outside the box and explore new methods. It is no longer about Facebook Ads or Google AdWords, but taking the first step to attempt something new. All the best, you will never know till you try it!
marketing, marketing campaigns, marketing concept, marketing communication, B2B, nike, TFWGucci, Airbnb, Ariel, ikea, spotify, heineken, iPhone