Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our wonderful readers. In honour of a day which celebrates all things “love”, we’re going to run you through five marketing campaigns that we, well, love! The best marketing campaigns are those that are innovative, memorable and spark conversation. Do you have a favourite marketing campaign? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.
- Coca-Cola, ‘Share a Coke’
Beginning in Australia 2011, the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign from Coca-Cola is unforgettable. The campaign rebranded the traditional Coke bottle design to instead state “Share a Coke with”, followed by a variety of names. Although simple, the change demanded an entirely different approach to the product by consumers. With a list of 250 of the country’s most popular names, people scoured shops with the intention of finding theirs. Instantly, a once disposable item became personal and those who found their name, often took to social media to share it.
The campaign was multi-national, eventually appearing across 80 countries. Largely, the campaign was targeted towards young adults, who had an increased consumption in the product by an estimated 7% in Australia.
The campaign didn’t end in 2011, though. Until 2017, various extended versions occurred, including a larger selection of names, more generic nicknames, song lyrics and even holiday destinations. While continuing to personalise the consumer experience, these extensions ensured that nobody would be excluded, there was a “Share a Coke” bottle for everyone! With such a move, even more consumers were encouraged to create online content around the bottles and the campaign only spread further.
- Always, ‘#LikeaGirl’
Changing the way consumers view feminine-hygiene brands, the Always #LikeAGirl campaign proved extremely successful for the brand, particularly across social media. The campaign consisted of a single video which works towards reverting the expression ‘like a girl’, from an insult on femininity to something empowering.
At the beginning of the ad, women, boys and men run, throw and fight in a silly and weak manner when asked to do so ‘like a girl’. However, this mentality fails to exist when young girls are asked to do the same. They fight with all their strength, run as fast as they can and throw as powerful as possible. As young girls, they are yet to be led to believe that they cannot be as strong, fast or powerful as their male counterparts.
The video has been viewed over 90 million times on YouTube and shared by over one million viewers. The hashtag #LikeaGirl was used by celebrities around the world and included in 177,000 tweets in the first three months. But why was it so successful?
Typically, feminine-hygiene brands like Always, produce scientifically focused ads, concentrating on the product and not its consumer. The #LikeAGirl campaign disrupts this, generating a more emotional response for both men and women. While confidence has always sat at the core of Always’ marketing, this generally centres on a confidence in the product. However, the campaign recognises puberty as a time of confidence crisis in girls, reassuring them that they can achieve anything, regardless of gender.
Campaign have carried out an excellent case study into the #LikeaGirl campaign if you’d like to find out more.
- Lacoste, ‘Save Our Species’
After 85 years of establishing its world-famous crocodile logo, Lacoste, for its ‘Save Our Species’ campaign, decided to ditch it. As one of the most distinctive designs in fashion branding, this somewhat radical move worked as the foundations for the successfulness of their campaign.
Partnering with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Lacoste replaced the crocodile logo with images of 10 rare and endangered animals. In doing so, the campaign raised awareness of these species but also, just how close to becoming extinct they are.
The number of shirts produced per logo directly correlated to the number of animals still remaining in the wild. For example, there were just 40 polo shirts with the turtle logo available for purchase, which corresponds to the 40 Burmese Roofed Turtles which remain in the wild. In total, the collection consisted of just 1,775 shirts, serving as a startling reminder of just how necessary the conservation of these species continues to be.
As well as its compelling ties to endangered animals, the successfulness of the campaign arises as a result of the longevity of the Lacoste brand and its recognisable crocodile as one of the world’s most famous logos. In momentarily stepping away from this logo, the brand disrupts its entire identity, producing unique products and causing the stir appropriate for any successful marketing campaign. All of the polos sold out in 24 hours.
- Channel 4, ‘Humans’
In 2015, Channel 4 created a multiplatform marketing campaign to promote their 8-part TV series Humans. The campaign was centred on a fake brand “Persona Synths” and included a television advert, accompanying website, newspaper adverts, social media pages and even a storefront on Regent Street!
“Persona Synths” claims to sell robots with incredibly realistic human-like appearances who, upon purchase, will become ‘your new best friend’. The television advert and its eerie and sinister feel, draws upon the actual human paranoia of robots, also a key theme within Humans.
Within 72 hours, #PersonaSynths was trending on Twitter and the fake website had almost half a million hits. The multiplatform nature of the campaign and its ability to draw upon an actual societal paranoia are just two reasons for its success. Humans went on to be Channel 4’s most successful drama launch, with an average of 4 million viewers.
- Gillette, ‘The Best Men Can Be’
Finally, we must mention Gillette’s ‘The Best Men Can Be’ campaign. Released in January 2019, the ad certainly created a stir becoming extremely controversial very quickly. The ad plays on the brand’s famous slogan “The best a man can get”, however, shifts the attention away from the product and onto its consumer, becoming “The best men can be”.
In just 48 hours, the ad was watched more than 2 million times on YouTube and received more dislikes than likes. This level of adverse feedback raises the question as to whether all publicity remains to be good publicity.
Regardless, we can recognise the core message of the advert which calls out unacceptable behaviour such as bullying and sexual harassment. As Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King states, the ‘commercial isn’t anti-male. It’s pro-humanity’. Gillette simply recognises the bad side of masculinity in some men and urge them to be “the best they can be”, a message impossible to argue against.