22 May 2013

13 Marketing Campaigns that dominated - Watch & Reminisce

So many ads....

Every day of our lives, we are bombarded with marketing messages, some (probably exaggerated) studies say the average person sees between 3000 to 2000 marketing messages a day. Other perhaps more sane studies suggest we see 247 images a day. Whatever the number, the key point is that there a lot of companies trying to sell to us; all of the time.

The more media we consume across the ever expanding suite of personal gadgets we have, the more marketing we are subjected to. Our brains cannot and do not process all of the images that are in a close proximity to us, therefore for marketing campaigns to resonate, be effective and grab our attention, they need to be impactful. And even if they do grab our attention, they need to hold our attention, make us respond in a positive way, and not drive us mad every time we see or hear it.

So, unless we live in the middle of the desert, jungle or the ocean away from civilisation, it's kind of hard to get away from marketing! Some marketing is memorable, relevant and grabs our attention. Other aka the majority of marketing is just the opposite, we don't remember it, it has no value to us, and/or the more we see it, the more it irritates us.

Firstly, what makes a marketing campaign 'good'?

That is a good question, I believe as an industry too many awards and opinions are obsessed with aesthetics, subjectivity, 'cool-factor', and the quality of an agencies awards entry / PR to determine if something is 'good'.

How can we classify them? 

Even though marketing campaigns have different objectives, audiences and budgets, the one thing they all have in common is to drive results.

At the end of the day, if a campaign yields and exceeds results, then it should be classified as being 'good', or even awesome.

Often, smaller companies won't publicise results, does this make their campaign bad. No.

Marketing effectiveness is a huge compromise albeit a balancing act between what we 'the consumer' subjectively think about a campaign, and the results achieved by the brand from the campaign, which the consumer will probably never truly be privy too.

I love surfing and extreme sports so I like and enjoy watching the GoPro ads. Does this mean the marketing campaign is 'good' ? Maybe, but did it make me aspire to want one and therefore go and buy one? Yes actually. Was this GoPro's marketing objective; yes. Did GoPro get a positive ROI on their campaign? I don't know, they are a private company.

The Ingredients of a 'good' campaign

Whether a campaign's objective is to raise awareness of a brand/service, change the positioning of a brand/service, data capture for prospecting, or drive sales (which for most campaigns are all of the above). I believe there are a few ingredients that are synonymous with great campaigns.

  • Grab our attention
  • Are positively memorable
  • They make us act
  • They strike an emotive cord / Have an impact
  • They create discussion / make us want to share with friends
  • They drive results

Watch, enjoy and reminisce 

Below are some TV spearheaded campaigns that I enjoy, like, and admire; for various reasons. Some of these commercials formed part of a larger more integrated marketing initiative (so rolled out on print, digital, social media, radio etc), whilst for others, the TV was the only customer touchpoint.

As a digital evangelist there are many other campaigns I like/admire which are purely or predominately within the digital / social realm. I will create another post on these soon. This post is about the TV / video side of things.

Watch, reminisce, enjoy and let me know what TV campaigns you have liked...and why, for the purpose of this post this can be subjective.

Old Spice - The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

I love this ad and I am a fan of a lot of the Old Spice ads in general. It's no wonder this funny creative genius of a clip went viral with millions of plays, and formed part of a series of videos that clocked even more millions of views. Oh, and it was shot in one single take. Impressive. More Old Spice ads can be found here.

Apple - Think Different

Often Apples first ad to the market '1984' is seen as the best ad, but for me it was their 'Think Differently' campaign. As they were trying to battle with Microsoft, I think this proposition hit the spot perfectly.

Everybody Knows - Quitline 2008 (Aus)

One word. Powerful.
Why? Because it tells a simple truth - 'everybody does know', yet they still smoke. Go figure...

Carlsberg - Stunt with Bikers

This light-hearted ad just makes me laugh and reminds us not to judge a book by its cover.

Milky Way - Red car and the blue car

Here's one from my childhood that grabbed the attention of all hungry-sugar-wanting children in the UK! A classic.

Google Superbowl 2010 advert

A simple advert, which uses a romantic narrative to showcase its real-time search functionality. Brilliant and game changer.

Nike - Michael Jordan 'Failure'

Want inspiration then watch this. A sure way to get every athlete interested in your products. Genius.

MINI Paceman - Art Series

I really admire the creativity of this series by MINI. It draws me in and keeps me interested, it talks to my creative side, and it creates a positive emotional feeling towards the brand. Clever. I only just found out but a good friend of mine Dan Sharp actually directed this - Massive kudos!

Guinness - Sea Horses & Surfers

I like surfing and I like Guinness, put them together and I love this ad. An absolute classic.

Smirnoff Vodka

Awesome to watch.

Nike - Write the Future

When it comes to ads, Nike rarely disappoint. Here is a brilliant ad from their World Cup 2010 campaign.

Optus - Whale Song

I thought this ad was right on the money in terms of Optus's position of 'Anything is Possible'. Creative, simple, clever and beautiful.

OK GO - This Too Shall Pass

Perhaps more a music video than a commercial but worth a mention due to its viral marketing element. This is such a creative way to drive awareness of your band when the music video becomes a viral phenomenal and no wonder, it is incredible!

Further reading:

There are tons of ads that I missed in this post, ranging from the Bravia one with the bouncing balls, the Cadburys one with the Gorilla and Phill Collins playing in the background, Golf 'Think Small', Trebor Spearmints featuring 'Mr Soft', Milk Tray ads, Absolute Vodka, Honda ads...the list is endless.

Below are some cool posts and resources I found when researching for this post that are worthy of checking out.

10 Greatest Marketing Campaigns of all time and Top 10 football Commericals

I would love to hear your thoughts as to what commericals you have liked and why?

About the author
Si Muddell is a Digital Strategist who has worked extensively both agency and client side. Si is fascinated about marketing, psychology & what motivates people, and loves guitar, surfing and travelling.

Get connected with Si on TwitterLinkedIn &
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