What are Marketing Campaigns and what do they strive to achieve? Different brands and companies look to promote their products and services through various mediums in order to increase sales. This can be done either by retaining customers or attracting new ones. The number of strategies and channels to market a business are already so many, but now with the addition of social media marketing, the possibilities have multiplied.
Understanding the target audience and defining the message to send across to the same is essential to come up with a campaign. There have been so many strategies that have left a mark in the minds of people and boosted sales, it’s hard to choose the ‘best’ ones. But its interesting to watch how advertising and marketing has developed over the years. Here are 10 of our favourite ones!
Marlboro: Marlboro Man
In 1955, society’s idea of the ideal man was someone who was powerful, confident, free and primal. So Marlboro then painted a picture of the man most guys want to be and women want to be with and named him The Marlboro Man. By placing him in the middle of an open range, the ads hit their target audience, men who aspired to a certain lifestyle.
The campaign was effective and represented the power of the brand. Marlboro showed a deeper understanding of their key demographic and thought about how their product would fit into people’s lifestyles. They sent a message to their possible customers saying that if you want to live your ideal life, this will take you one step closer to the dream.
Nike: Just Do It
Nike, as we know it today, is one of the biggest brands in sportswear and gear. Initially, the brand catered only to marathon participants and serious runners. However, when being fit became cool and the madness ensued, Nike decided to leverage the emerging market and catch up with their then main competitor, Reebok. With this in mind, the marketing department sat down and tried to reveal the need of the hour for their customers.
Thus came the famous ‘Just Do It’ slogan which has come to be associated with Nike and fitness. Short and sweet, the line managed to capture the essence of people’s emotions when they feel discouraged to work out. Reminding them and motivating them to ‘Just Do It’ served as the perfect way to push people to go that extra mile they don’t feel like running.
The campaign, now over 20 years old, has taken different forms and shapes in order to attract different audiences and age groups along with ethnicities. Here we see a prime example of a strategy where the brand identifies a problem and solves them for their consumers.
Dove: Real Beauty
The feminist revolution in the 21st century has been demonstrated and promoted via campaigns ranging from every possible product and service across the globe. Empowering women and reiterating their rights to freedom has turned heads and connected with female audiences like never before. Getting underneath the surface of self-esteem problems and talking about them comfortably was the essence of Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ campaign. With a brilliant and touching tagline like “Imagine a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.” was helpful, not only to the revolution but also to the brand’s sales.
Since its launch in 2004, the marketing strategy has reached millions of women and made them feel like they’re finally being understood. Take the Real Beauty Sketches campaign, they conducted a social experiment which demonstrated how women are extra hard on themselves and their appearances. It revealed a heartbreaking revelation that only 4% of women in the world think of themselves as beautiful.
The ad garnered more than a hundred million views and millions of shares. The same video was redone in different languages and spread to over 100 countries. This changed the brand image and established a sense of comfort which was to be associated with Dove.
Clairol: Does She or Doesn’t She?
In 1957, the concept of using artificial hair colour was not widely accepted. It was seen as a declaration that the woman didn’t have great hair naturally and also that she was vain. The campaign by Clairol did not attempt to spread awareness through word of mouth or traction, they focused solely on the quality of their product. Instead of convincing people to use the product, they told women that the hair colour was so good that no one would even realise that they had used the product.
The campaign was so successful that people stopped asking for a person’s hair colour as a basis of identification. This strategy told us that sometimes just a great product is enough to boost sales and generate interest because actions speak louder than words.
De Beers: A Diamond is Forever
The idea of ‘a diamond is forever’ was a term coined by De Beers in 1947 after the Great Depression. A strategic move, because after World War II, the unstable economy resulted in the sale of diamond jewellery dropping severely. There seemed no way that women would want to spend lavishly on an item that was an unnecessary expense. They told the consumers that buying diamonds was the ideal symbol of your eternal love and was a necessary luxury in order to pledge marriage.
Eventually, it became unthinkable to get married without a diamond engagement ring. It became less about the gemstone itself and more about what it denotes. The strategy turned a luxury into a necessity.
Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
Launched in 2010, when social media and viral videos were an up and coming platform for marketing and advertising, Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign went viral overnight. With over 50 million views, the brand came up with more videos and campaigns that followed the same basic idea and carried the message forward.
Then they took it to the next level by doing the unexpected. Fans that were commenting on the videos were reached out to and the main actor interacted with them with short and personalized videos.Humour filled responses responding to their fans online guaranteed that the following would remain loyal and turn into prospective customers.
“Build Your Own GLA,” Mercedes-Benz
Instagram is where most fan following interacts with brands that dabble with visual media. Mercedes-Benz recognised this trend and when they needed to promote the new GLA, they took to Instagram. They built a program which allows people to assemble a 2015 GLA and customise it by picking the colours, wheels, roof and grill options. With 132 possible combinations, visitors would get roped in and addicted to the process.
A DIY feel was given to the whole program and the strategy really paid off because of the option of ‘seeing’ their final creation. The images would then present the temptation of buying the vehicle of their making and customisation.
Buzzfeed – Tasty
Short, quick and easily accessible, these are all qualities that are required to gain traction on videos on social media. Buzzfeed launched their Tasty series with delicious and simple recipes which were demonstrated in a fun way. In a short period of time, Buzzfeed accumulated a large fan following because of Tasty and ended up launching subsets of the same.
The campaign generated amazing visibility for the Buzzfeed page and gathered steady traction.
Disney – #ShareYourEars
Social media has become such a big deal for marketing that it’s now not only used to promote products but also to raise awareness and funds. Disney in 2016 launched a campaign for the Make-A-Wish Foundation that allowed fans to share their images with the classic mouse ears on different platforms like Instagram and Twitter while adding the hashtag #ShareYourEars.
This strategy attracted so many fans that Disney changed doubled its pledge at the end of it. A trending topic on all social media, the campaign touched lives and connected with its fans on a deeper level.
Coca Cola – Let’s take an extra second
The Middle East has a large fan base for Coca Cola and drinks it during mealtimes on a regular basis. The campaign was targeted at its audience here to promote sales during the festival of Ramadan. A social message was communicated in a very novel and interesting way and was a huge risk. But it paid off very well.
Coca Cola based their advertisement and marketing message on a social cause. It addressed the fact that people tend to have preconceived notions about others based on their appearance without any information and adhere to stereotypes. To further communicate this message, they removed their logo from their cans and said that labels are for cans and not people.