What are the best marketing campaigns in history?
Sometimes, all you need to spark an idea is inspiration from past success stories. Marketing is a complicated area of business — but a crucial one if you want to succeed in your sector.
To create a memorable marketing strategy, check out these examples of past campaigns that had incredible success.
California Milk Processor Board
To start, let’s look at why the California Milk Processor Board’s Got Milk? campaign was, and remains, such a phenomenal piece of advertising. Essentially consisting of images depicting celebrities with milk moustaches next to the tagline ‘Got Milk?’, the campaign boosted milk sales in California by 7% within its first year. Surprisingly, Got Milk? was created to target people who already drank milk, rather than newconsumers.
Soon, Got Milk? posters and banners were spotted in stores and on highways across the US before moving to television, the internet and the global media.
The best of the Got Milk? campaign and how you can replicate it
Perhaps your goal isn’t to attract new custom, but to regain those you have lost. If one of your products is dropping in sales, or a service you offer isn’t performing as well as before, your marketing strategy could be aimed at reconnecting with customers. The Got Milk? strategy is just one example of how even everyday items can be injected with humour (i.e. the milk moustache) and glamour (i.e. use of celebrities).
Dove has been a popular and respected personal care brand since the 1950s, but it was in the 2000s that the company made an indelible mark on the marketing world.Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ campaign started consisted of a series of outdoor banners designed around a social experiment. This included a sketch artist — who’d been trained by the FBI —drawing two images of a woman: the first as she described herself and the second as a stranger described her. The outcome was that these images looked completely different, and Dove combined this result with thestatistic that a mere 4% of women find themselves attractive to create a hugely successful marketing campaign that truly resonated with its audience.
Consequently, these images were used on a series of billboards portraying regular women. These photos were positioned next to contradictory checkboxes for the viewer to choose between (e.g. ‘fat or fit’ and ‘wrinkled or wonderful’), the brand incited a debate about female beauty standards that went viral across digital media. Dove’s advertising strategy was insightful, inspiring and sensitive; encouraging women to see themselves in a different light.
The best of the Real Beauty campaign and how you can replicate it
To date, Dove’s Real Beauty campaign has been seen in around 110 countries, so this is a great strategy to use as inspiration. What matters to your consumers? Dove focused on a real problem concerning its key demographic and turned it into something positive, which not only helped women feel better about themselves, but also reflected positively on the brand.
Back in the USA of the 1960s, car consumers wanted big motors, not little Volkswagen Beetles. But Volkswagen handled this setback by playing into its audience’s hands. It created banners and newspaper ads with lots of white space to highlight the compact feature of its vehicles. So, when other car brands were packing their ads from border to border with copy, colour and imagery; Volkswagen stood apart from the crowd and was noticed for its ingenuity and honesty — its cars were small, and that’s what it told you.
The best of the Think Small campaign and how you can replicate it
While other brands try and cover up their products’ perceived negatives, why not embrace and capitalise on yours like Volkswagen? Advertising is believed by many to put an unrealistic spin on reality to sell its customer a dream, so any brand that focuses on honesty is sure to achieve credibility.
Nike is famous for the Just Do It tagline — but this slogan has actually been around for 30 years. Searching for something that would grab attention, the Nike people behind the campaign,came up with ‘Just Do It’ in 1988 and soon, sales were soaring.
This famous slogan was soon seen on outdoor banners and billboards everywhere. Why? Because it was clear, brief and evoked a response. Can’t be bothered to run? Just do it. Don’t think you can handle an hour at the gym? Just do it. Within ten years of its launch, the campaign had boosted Nike sales from $800 million to $9.2 billion — all due to a tagline thought up in around 20 minutes.
The best of the Just Do It campaign and how you can replicate it
The Just Do It strategy would be nothing without the slogan. Although seen on various banners depicting images of sports people performing multiple exercises, the tagline was what resonated with consumers. Invest in print marketing to give your slogan the longevity it might not get on an online ad.Concentrate on a solid slogan — that encapsulates your brand and speaks directly to your core audience — and build out from there.
It’s a common misconception in marketing that you have to think of something crazy and out-there to stand out. However, vodka brand, Absolut, shows us that this is not the case. Fundamentally, this strategy consisted of banners, billboards and ads portraying an Absolut bottle outline in various real images. This included a Christmas advert depicting a woman carrying stacks of gifts in a bottle formation (tagline: ‘Absolut 24th’) and an aerial shot of NYC’s Central Park shown with an added section at the top to create a bottle neck and cap shape (tagline: ‘Absolut Manhattan’).
This idea brought profits for the brand for around 50 years. Before it, the brand had less than 3% of the vodka market in the US and by the end, its name was on the label of half of all the country’s imported vodka.
The best of the Absolut campaign and how you can replicate it
Nothing brings originality like looking at what makes your company and its products/services special. Really look at your range and see how you can incorporate the feel, look and shape of it into your campaign. Large outdoor banners and billboards offer the opportunity to capitalise on colours, textures and silhouettes to turn something simple into something intriguing. So, pick your brand apart and diversify what you have.