Do you like to learn by studying examples of others work? We certainly do. So in this series of up and coming marketing campaigns, we will do just that. In each example, we will state what we liked in the campaign and why we thought made the campaign successful.
This is the first of a four part series. Here are all the parts and their titles:
Part 4: Up and coming marketing campaigns
Why are these marketing campaigns some of the up and coming of recent time? Because of the impact, they had on the growth of the brand, and because they manage to hit on some universal truth.
This truth allows us to remember these campaigns easily.
Keep learning: Insurance Advertising War … 8 Examples to Learn From
But first … what is a marketing campaign?
A marketing campaign is a group of ads centralized around one message. They often use many different marketing channels to get this idea across. The timing of these campaigns is also very clearly defined.
So here they are, in no particular order (but feel free to let us know which one is your favorite in the comments) – many of the most popular up and coming campaigns of the past year, and the lessons we can learn from them.
Up and coming marketing campaigns … Delta, “The Dating Wall”
In partnership with Tinder, Delta put scenes from nine exotic destinations on a wall in Brooklyn, so New York City singles could take selfies for their dating profiles—looking like attractive jet-setters. The fun, sharable activation was enhanced by great illustrations from Andrew Rae.
In his new biography Washington: A Life, Ron Chernow confronts the popular belief that George Washington was a brilliant military strategist during the Revolutionary War. He shows Washington, in battle after battle, devising tactics that were too complicated, ignoring his military instincts, gathering inadequate intelligence, making poor decisions, and dangerously exposing himself to enemy fire.
From the outset of his military career until the end of his Presidency, Washington does, however, emerge as a masterful motivator of men and a consummate politician with a knack for the personal touch.
The Battle of Germantown, which occurred 233 years ago this week, offers exemplary evidence of these traits. After the disastrous Battle of Brandywine in early September and British General William Howe’s capture of Philadelphia, Washington was eager to rally the spirits of his troops in one last engagement before winter. Howe had settled most of his main army of 9,000 troops in Germantown, a small town six miles northwest of Philadelphia on the banks of the Schuylkill River.
Recalling his successful nocturnal raid across the Delaware the previous December, Washington devised a plan that involved a forced nighttime march of 8,000 Continentals and 3,000 militia in a four-pronged attack that would surprise Howe in a pre-dawn raid. The heavy fog on the morning of October 4, 1777, helped cover the American army’s approach and caused the first wave of British troops to retreat, but only after they had set fire to a field. The ensuing mix of smoke and fog made communications between the rebel forces impossible and some ended up shooting one another.
A British regiment turned Chew’s House, a three-story stone country home, into an impregnable fortress, and Washington lost valuable time and many lives deploying three regiments to try unsuccessfully to take it.
In just three hours the Continental forces were routed. The final tally was grim: 150 Americans killed, 520 wounded, and 400 captured versus 70 British killed, 450 wounded, and 15 captured. In a letter to his brother, Washington put a good face on it: “but for a thick fog rendered so infinitely dark at times, as not to distinguish friend from Foe, at a distance of 30 yards, we should, I believe, have made a decisive and glorious day of it.”
Glad to hear anything that sounded like good news after its flight from Philadelphia, the Continental Congress commended Washington for his bravery and even forged a medal in his honor. Howe was apparently also impressed, recording that he didn’t think “the enemy would have dared to approach after so recent a defeat as that at Brandywine.”
Howe’s response may have been influenced by two notes he received from Washington two days after the battle. One complained of the behavior of Howe’s troops: the torching of mills and the annihilation of Charlestown. The other was just two lines, most likely penned by Washington’s aide-de-camp, Alexander Hamilton:
General Washington’s compliments to General Howe. He does himself the pleasure to return [to] him a dog, which accidentally fell into his hands, and by the inscription on the collar appears to belong to General Howe.
If you’re “Cursed,” perhaps like General Howe, then you are unable to imagine what it’s like not to know or understand something — a topic, discipline, craft, what have you — which, in turn, makes it hard to communicate that knowledge to less-informed people.
In their book, Made to Stick, the Heath Brothers provide a typical example:
Think of a lawyer who can’t give you a straight, comprehensible answer to a legal question. His vast knowledge and experience renders him unable to fathom how little you know. So when he talks to you, he talks in abstractions that you can’t follow. And we’re all like the lawyer in our own domain of expertise.”
Ancestry’s “Declaration Descendants”
For the 4th of July, Ancestry.com released a thought-provoking ad about equality and the idea that we are all more alike than we think.
In the ad, different people of various ethnicities recite parts of the Declaration of Independence. At the end of the spot, it’s revealed who these people are — each is descendants of someone who signed the declaration.
Ancestry.com CMO Vineet Mehr said in an interview: “We’re all much more similar than you think. And we’re using facts and data to prove it. This is not fluffy marketing. These are facts.”
Apple’s “Earth — Shot on iPhone”
Climate change is a hot topic right now, and companies are making great efforts to raise awareness of the issue.
In June, Apple released a new ad called “Earth — Shot on iPhone,” which highlights the beauty and importance of nature and the planet. The video shows scenic images of the earth’s landscape and features the late Carl Sagan reading passages from his 1994 book Pale Blue Dot — A Vision of the Human Future in Space.
“Like it or not, for the moment, the earth is where we make our stand. It underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the only home we’ve ever known,” Sagan says during the ad.
Up and coming marketing campaigns … Jose Cuervo “Last Days”
CP+B director Ringan Ledwidge employed the coming apocalypse as a metaphor for living in the moment in this charming, eye-catching two-minute spot. Bonus points for using the Elvis Presley ballad “It’s Now or Never,” which was lyrically perfect and set just the right mood.
84 Lumber’s “The Journey”
The best ad of a recent Super Bowl, “The Journey” was a beautiful and provocative take on immigration, with 84 Lumber workers building a door in Trump’s border wall to let in an immigrant family from Mexico. A home run on the biggest stage from a smaller agency and an all-but-unknown marketer.
In “The Journey,” a mother and daughter say goodbye to their family in Mexico and make their way to the U.S. As they trek towards the Mexico-U.S. border, a group of construction workers is building a wall.
As they reach the border, the mother and daughter see the newly constructed wall, and their dreams of freedom are shattered. That is, until they notice a large wooden door in the middle of the wall — their gateway to freedom. They push open the door, enter the U.S. and continue on their path to a better life.
The ad ends with the line, “The will to succeed is always welcome here.”
Up and coming marketing campaigns … Masmi pads “The Elevator” (Iceland)
Copy translation: “100% natural cotton pads.” You have to imagine watching the commercial without knowing the product ahead of time. (This spot was shown in movie theaters.) It’s a shining example of the power of the unexpected visual.
Kit Kat “Pet Names” (U.K.)
How about an “audio” commercial? Who remembers great radio spots, like the “Real Men of Genius” Bud Light ads? Nobody? Get lost, you punk-ass kids. This nice, simple and popped up pre-Valentine’s Day.
More to learn: Effective Advertising … 14 Best Examples of Ad Design
Amnesty International – The Refugee Nation
A new team entered the Olympic Games in Rio last year: The Refugee Nation, made up of 10 displaced people from around the world, with a new orange and black flag design inspired by the life jackets worn by those that had traveled across seas hoping for a new life.
According to Ogilvy New York, which worked with Amnesty on the campaign, it attracted global media coverage and led to stores and restaurants using stickers featuring the flags to show that they welcome refugees.
Whirlpool – Care Counts
One in five students struggle with access to clean clothes, according to Whirlpool’s Cannes Lions entry for its “Care Counts” campaign, and this has a direct correlation with high school attendance. Whirlpool worked with agency Digitas LBi to try to change this, installing washers and dryers in schools across the U.S.
Machines were able to track usage for each student and relate that to their school attendance, and there was a 90 percent improvement in the attendance of students in the program.
The bottom line
To be effective in this new era, we as marketers need to see our jobs differently. No more just focusing on metrics like clicks, video views or social media shares. We must successfully integrate our function with other business functions to create entire brand experiences that serve the customer all the way through their experiences throughout the business.
We can do better. Much better. But first, we need to stop seeing ourselves as crafters of clever brand messages and become creators of positive brand experiences.
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he writes about topics to help improve the performance of small business. Find him on G+, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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