Great Marketing Campaign Examples … Part 1 Classic Campaigns
Do you like to learn by studying examples of others work? We certainly do. So in this series of great marketing classic campaigns and examples, 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.
Keep learning: Use 8 Breathtaking Commercials That Employ Emotional Appeal
This is the first of a four part series. Here are all the parts and their titles:
Part 1: Classic campaigns
Part 2: Beat marketing campaigns
Part 3: Very unique marketing campaigns
Why are these marketing campaigns some of the classics of all 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 years after they first began. In fact, some of us might not have even been alive when these campaigns first aired!
But first … what is a marketing campaign?
A marketing campaign is an ad or 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 campaigns of all time, and the lessons we can learn from them.
Classic campaigns … KLM – Royal Dutch Airlines
When choosing to learn from others’ social media marketing campaign strategies, it is always helpful to choose the best of the best. Those that are most innovative and very eager to try lots new and different ideas. And not afraid of a failure or two. KLM Airlines marketing certainly deserves to be this camp. Real social media marketing innovators. They frequently come up when marketers are discussing the best in social media marketing.
Over the past seven years, they have launched a number of social campaigns – some big, some small. They had a few failures along with great successes. Let’s examine some of their more noteworthy campaigns.
Remember how great it felt the first time you got a social response from a brand you love or business you deal with? All the good will generated by their speedy response? Well, KLM decided to run an experiment with its social community, for people who check in via foursquare for flights or tweet about waiting to board the next KLM service, and they called it “KLM Surprise”. The aim of this campaign was to bring random surprises and happiness to the boring wait for flights.
Here is a video KLM made on this campaign:
KLM’s social campaign involved a team of people identifying KLM passengers currently waiting for flights (and hanging out on twitter), before researching each person’s social profile to find out a little more about their personality and destination. Given that information, they matched passengers to a surprise gift that they’d give before each person boarded their flight.
The aim was to add a little surprise to create happy customers who have plenty of time on their hands to tweet their network about a great KLM experience at the airport. That’s a very cool social experiment.
Listening to customers
In another act of social media genius, KLM used Twitter to add a flight to its roster.
It all started when a Dutch filmmaker tweeted his disappointment about the lack of a direct flight from Amsterdam to Miami. Specifically, he was looking for a hangover-reducing direct flight to/from the Ultra Music Festival taking place in Miami on March 21st, 2011. A KLM rep rapidly responded with a wager – if the filmmaker could book an entire flight (351 seats) before December 6th, KLM would add the non-stop flight to its schedule.
Beyond all expectations, the resulting campaign Fly2Miami sold out the entire flight within 5 hours.
I’ll say it again. Talk about GREAT ability to listening to customers, yes?
Tile and inspire
The KLM Tile and Inspire campaign sought to engage customers by soliciting tile image designs from them. The winning designs would be put on one KLM aircraft.
The Boeing 777 with over 4,000 Delft blue images from Facebook fans is still flying around the globe! Let’s see … 4000 winners telling 20 of their closest friends about the experience, and then they each tell ten more friends. That is a great way to spread your message, isn’t it?
Here is a great little KLM video on this campaign:
Classic campaigns … Dove – Real Beauty Sketches
This is truly a masterpiece from the Dove cosmetic brand. People tend to be very harsh on themselves. When describing ourselves, we often deprecate our physical appearance and send out a message of it being worse than it is.
What Dove decided to prove with Real Beauty Sketches campaign is that every woman is beautiful in her ways.
The film, created by Ogilvy & Mather Brazil, features an FBI-trained sketch artist drawing a woman’s portrait according to her self-description. He then sketches a portrait of the same woman according to a stranger’s description of her.
Throughout, the artist never lays eyes on the women themselves, and neither the artist nor women know about the social experiment.
The images that were drawn were completely different, and Dove accompanied this finding with a compelling statistic that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful.
The goals of the campaign were to build brand love and loyalty as well as turn beauty into a source of confidence, not anxiety. As it turned out, women were critical to themselves and the ways they described themselves were quite different from how they appeared to others’.
Real Beauty Sketches became a huge success. The video became the most watched online ad ever and amassed over 150 million views across different video platforms.
Imagine a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. That’s the tagline for Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, which has been turning heads since its launch in 2004. It’s a simple but effective approach to persona marketing: They created ads around a topic they knew was sensitive but meaningful to their customers.
They promoted the idea that everyone is beautiful in their way. They pointed out how the idea of beauty is distorted by the skinny models that appear on the cover pages of a fashion magazine or walk down the ramp in a fashion show.
Nike: Just Do It
Did you know that once upon a time, Nike’s product catered almost exclusively to marathon runners? Then, a fitness craze emerged — and the folks in Nike’s marketing department knew they needed to take advantage of it to surpass their main competitor, Reebok. (At the time, Reebok was selling more shoes than Nike). And so, in the late 1980s, Nike created the “Just Do It.” campaign.
It was a huge hit.
In 1988, Nike sales were at $800 million; by 1998, sales exceeded $9.2 billion. “Just Do It.” was short and sweet, yet encapsulated everything people felt when they were exercising — and people still feel that feeling today.
Don’t want to run five miles? Just Do It. Don’t want to walk up four flights of stairs? Just Do It. It’s a slogan we can all relate to the drive to push ourselves beyond our limits.
So when you’re trying to decide the best way to present your brand, ask yourself what problem are you solving for your customers. What solution does your product or service provide? By hitting on that core issue in all of your marketing messaging, you’ll connect with consumers on an emotional level that is hard to ignore.
Classic campaigns … Apple Marketing Campaigns
1984 Macintosh Campaign
The Apple board first rejected this 60-second advertisement, but Steve Jobs chose to go ahead and unveil it during the third quarter break of the Super Bowl XVIII. This ad made by the agency Chiat\Day was something out of the ordinary, untested and it sent out a message that Apple is not scared of the then-existing computer giants (read IBM). This went on to be voted as the best commercial ever made.
While there have been many great Apple campaigns, this one takes the cake. The Mac vs. PC debate ended up being one of the most successful campaigns ever for Apple, and they experienced 42% market share growth in its first year. The campaign tells Mac’s audience everything they need to know about their product without being overt — and they did it cleverly.
A key takeaway here?
Just because your product does some pretty amazing things doesn’t mean you need to hit your audience over the head with it. Instead, explain your product’s benefits in a relatable way, so consumers can see themselves using it.
Get A Mac—Perceptive Marketing
Apple nailed it with their successful four-year television campaign, Get A Mac, which showcased a Mac vs. PC theme. The indirect brilliance of this campaign is that it took advantage of people’s perceptions and ignorance at the same time while shielding Apple from litigation liabilities.
Because of public perception, the average person viewing Apple’s Mac vs. PC advertisements subconsciously interpreted the marketing campaign into Mac vs. Windows.
Apple never attacked Microsoft or Windows by name directly; they only allowed consumers to perceive that thought because most people don’t realize Apple computers are PC’s too—at the risk of being politically correct, PC stands for “personal computer,” not Windows operating the software. In fact, even Wikipedia today has it wrong on their website.
According to Adweek in 2010, “Get a Mac” was the “best advertising campaign of the first decade of the new century.” Apparently, Microsoft thought so too, so they launched a $300 million advertising campaign with the tagline “I’m a PC, and Windows 7 was my idea”.
Clairol: Does She or Doesn’t She?
The first time Clairol asked this question in 1957, the answer was 1 to 15 — as in, only 1 in 15 people were using artificial hair color. Just 11 years later, the answer was 1 of 2, according to TIME Magazine.
The campaign was apparently so successful that some states stopped requiring women to denote hair color on their driver’s license. When your ad campaign starts changing things at the DMV, you know you’ve hit a nerve.
Clairol did the opposite of what most marketers would do: They didn’t want every woman on the street running around saying they were using their product. They wanted women to understand that their product was so good that people wouldn’t be able to tell if they were using it or not.
The lesson here: Sometimes, simply conveying how and why your product works are enough for consumers. Showing becomes more effective than telling.
More to study: Volkswagen Ad … The Secrets to Its Effectiveness?
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 the small business. Find him on G+, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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