Remember the 2000s when everyone’s parents (and their mothers) were overly enthusiastic about milk? The kind where if something in the mart had milk in it, people wholeheartedly (and oh so naively) believed that it was good for you?
Turns out, 20 years later, no one says that anymore. (And no, it’s not only because people increasingly started going vegan.)
There just aren’t a lot of ‘milk is good for you’ commercials going around anymore—we’ve switched to protein powders and health drinks now—simply because the dairy industry doesn’t find the need to promote milk anymore. The ‘milk is good’ idea is just a concept marketed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and backed by the dairy industry.
Similar to how we believe diamonds to be rare, hence justifying their price (the result of brilliant marketing).
Or how the world believes fat (oil) to be the problem when it’s actually sugar that’s bad for you (research and ethical standards preceding the 1950’s were appalling).
Marketing campaigns essentially aim to change the way their audience feels about their product, but sometimes, that means controlling the narrative, altering/shifting perception, and changing how their audiences see the world.
Now before you confuse a marketing campaign with an advertisement, let’s back up and see what makes the former different.
Advertising just happens to be one of the mediums through which the message is communicated. The message is determined by the marketing campaign.
Marketing campaigns, like any other form of campaign, have a wider scope. Not every marketing campaign is memorable though, (some just backfire, memorably), but a notable few not just enhance the brand identity, but become it. Here’s taking a look at them.
Components of a Stellar Marketing Campaign
There are a few things that make a marketing campaign stellar, elements without which the campaign might’ve just been a regular Instagram post (that was made 15 minutes before it went live).
Target - buyer personas
For obvious reasons, you need to know who you’re selling to. Some brands like to go the roundabout way of selling to everyone, selling to no one, and then finally, selling to a few. (If everyone is the target audience, no one is.)
Come up with relevant buyer personas (keep out the unnecessary details of their intimate life. They’re buying wifi services not getting married, spare us the details) and figure out which pain points your product solves. Psychographics > Demographics.
Lastly, check if your product is commercially viable to ‘them’. Sure, everyone likes a rainbow plushie, but an $87 rainbow plushie, yeah no.
Your goal is simply the desired outcome. If you want to re-engage your customers, generate new leads, increase brand awareness, and want higher engagement, you need a genie, not a marketing campaign.
Think of the one thing that will change because of the marketing campaign. Is it better-qualified leads, is it higher engagement on social media, is it more traffic on your website? That’s your answer to the goal. Strategize your campaign keeping that in mind.
Not to be confused with simply listing features, value proposition means the value your product adds to your customer’s life and how it solves their problem. It’s not about how fancy your product is, or how fast it runs, or how great it looks, or even how cool it is. This isn’t a science fair, it’s marketing.
Pretty sure you’d have seen this image making rounds on the socials:
Value proposition is simply about what it does for your audience. Apple does it best. (point in case: when Apple launched the iPhone X, their campaign revolved around one idea, ‘say hello to the future’)
Say they landed on your landing page. You told them about your new funky feature, you told them what it does for them, you know who you’re selling to and you know what you’re selling. But what’s next?
You can have the perfect campaign, but without knowing ‘what’s next’, you would have an incomplete funnel. And we all know what happens to your audience in an incomplete funnel. (They fall right into the ‘let’s see how it goes’ black hole and you never see them again.)
The perfect marketing campaign includes following up.
A follow-up email, a personalized video, or a simple brochure (if you’re feeling vanilla), something to make sure your audience remembers you. (Here are a few marketing and sales collaterals we love.)
Going a little over budget is one thing, using up the year’s marketing budget on an engagement campaign is another.
Factor in the hidden costs (like the second freelancer you had to hire because the overpriced design agency’s first draft almost got you fired) and customer acquisition costs. Keep a tight budget and always set your goals accordingly.
“Don’t just create content to get credit for being clever — create content that will be helpful, insightful, or interesting for your target audience.” - David Ogilvy
(sounds pretty personal, but moving on)
Ultimately, your content has to speak to your target persona. In the day and age where every brand sounds like they’re trying their very best to befriend the entirety of GenZ, it would be a great idea to consider your target audience ‘before’ investing resources into a relatable Instagram account.
Brands selling microwaves to late millennials should probably sound helpful and professional, not like they got an aneurysm trying to be cool.
Marketing campaigns require you to push out consistent content consistently on all your platforms, making it harder for your audience to follow through. Exactly why you need the how to make content addictive and binge-worthy guide.
If you’re measuring ROI according to the KPIs that ‘feel’ best, you’ll probably end up with a campaign that ‘feels’ successful. Smart marketing teams use Paperflite to measure their ROI but you didn't hear it from us ;)
The entire point of measuring ROI is that it’s measurable, which means you don’t get to collect random data and never look at it again. (It’s data, not cute stationery). Ideally, your KPIs should be consistent with your goals.
If you’re selling to a 50 y/o, but insist on being on Tiktok and Instagram and Pinterest, you need to stop. This isn’t a buffet, show your social media managers some mercy and direct your resources in the right direction. (Just because you get to repurpose content doesn’t mean you rejoice by being omnipresent.)
Moreover, what works on one channel wouldn’t work on the other, and it takes more than guesswork to figure that out. Don’t spread yourself too thin and choose wisely.
Types of Marketing Campaigns
Marketing campaigns can generally be classified under the following categories:
Product Launch Campaign
These campaigns aim to introduce the product in the market and increase the audience’s likelihood to buy.
Email Marketing Campaign
Email marketing campaigns are marketing efforts directed towards email sales. A sequence of emails is created that when deployed in the right order, tends to increase sales.
User-Generated Content Campaign
Usually a part of social media campaigns, UGC simply means content that is created by the users in order to promote the brand.
Affiliate Marketing Campaign
Affiliate marketing is the system that awards your customers or brand representatives for every purchase someone makes through them. Basically, it is a commission-based activity. Campaigns like these hope to win over the trust of your audience through your existing customers.
When the brand either changes elements of one of their products or what they stand for, they usually announce it through a rebranding campaign. Re-introduction is simply re-introducing an existing product or brand in the market.
Social Media Campaign
Using hashtags to promote the brand, creating challenges, or encouraging customers to come up with their own content that brands can then repurpose is part of a social media campaign.
This usually requires the brand to have an active social media account on various platforms, i.e Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok, etc, or on the one platform they’re trying to get popular on.
CSR campaigns are Corporate Social Responsibility campaigns that aim to alter and impact society in a positive way. Usually, brands don't market themselves heavily during these campaigns since the focus is on the cause.
Paid Marketing / Advertising Campaign
Paid marketing campaigns usually mean paid digital marketing campaigns where the brand pays for their ads to be shown to their target audience. This just implies that your audience did not discover you organically but because of your ads.
Influencer Marketing Campaign
Often, brands use influencers to invoke a certain feeling among the audiences. For example, using a trustworthy sportsperson in a marketing campaign can lead to the audiences associating the word 'trust' with the brand itself.
Brand Awareness Campaign
As the name suggests, brand awareness campaigns exist to increase awareness about who you are and what you do among audiences. Success can be measured by brand recall among your audience.
Examples of Marketing Campaigns
We’ve compiled a bunch of really cool marketing campaigns spanning across multiple sectors, some emotional, some eye-catching, and most memorable. Below, they’re classified according to the industry:
Software as a Service (SaaS)
We have a wonderful collection (click the image above to access it) of 10+ handpicked marketing campaigns in the SaaS sector, some of which are downright brilliant. Here are our top 2 picks:
Type of campaign: Brand awareness + Influencer marketing
It’s not often that an ad for online forms can convince you that you’re capable of dreaming, also while telling your employer that you need better benefits. The video calmly walks you through multiple things SurveyMonkey can do, conveniently also implying it’s not only a Google forms competitor anymore. And lastly, what’s not to like when Serena Williams is in it, duh.
Type of campaign: Brand awareness
Mailchimp’s marketing campaign is the joke that went on for far too long. Mailchimp came out with multiple videos where their brand name is misspelled (and mispronounced), some of them being JailBlimp, MailShrimp, and Kalelimp. MailChimp knew the random videos would draw curiosity and make people want to look them up. And all we have to say here is, “task successfully completed”!
We have a wonderful collection (click the image above to access it) of 10+ handpicked marketing campaigns in the automobile sector, some of which are downright brilliant. Here are our top 2 picks:
Type of campaign: Influencer marketing
It only took Toyota’s name on red tape across the stadium to highlight what they stand for. Diversity, hope, and the country. Such a simple but hard-hitting message, meant to impact the millions of people watching around the world, all while highlighting a story that needs to be told. Warm fuzzies is the last thing you expect from a car ad, but here we are.
Type of campaign: Social media + UGC + Influencer marketing
This campaign by BMW encouraged the masses to film a video of them dancing to a predefined choreography to pulsating music by the artist Big Gigantic. Simple, trendy, and chic, BMW found the perfect way to advertise themselves on TikTok without spending a single dollar.
Fashion and Retail Industry
We have a wonderful collection (click the image above to access it) of 10+ handpicked marketing campaigns in the fashion and retail sector, some of which are downright brilliant. Here are our top 2 picks:
Type of campaign: Email Marketing
Most brands don’t do email marketing right. Either they spam you with 3 emails a day, timed extremely inappropriately, or you only hear from them every Christmas (Easter too if you’re lucky). Except if you’re Jaybird. Their email marketing campaign stresses on recovery being your weapon with Kerri Walsh Jennings in the middle of the poster, hitting the ball back.
Type of campaign: Social Media
Ralph Lauren came up with the perfect 11-second ad for their TikTok challenge, celebrating the U.S. Open starring Diana Silvers. Tiktok users are encouraged to show videos of them winning in real life, whether at tennis or not. The videos with the highest engagement get Ralph Lauren U.S. Open gear. Who wouldn’t make videos for some cool RL & U.S. Open merch!
We have a wonderful collection (click the image above to access it) of 10+ handpicked marketing campaigns in the FMCG sector, some of which are downright brilliant. Here are our top 2 picks:
Type of campaign: CSR
Gillette came out with its 3 year-long CSR marketing campaign ‘The Best Men Can Be’, a wordplay on their tagline, ‘The Best A Man Can Get’ to officially announce their decision to donate $1 million/per year for the next three years to NPOs that are involved with men empowerment. Not a single mention of the brand and yet a long-lasting impact.
Type of campaign: Product Launch
The Coca Cola product launch for the New Coke Zero was all the rage. They promoted the coke as a guilt-free way to enjoy coke, without losing out on the taste or deliciousness of the prominent ‘cola’ flavor. The campaign was simplistic, similar to how procuring a bottle of cola and drinking it feels like.
Food and Beverages Industry
We have a wonderful collection (click the image above to access it) of 10+ handpicked marketing campaigns in the food and beverages sector, some of which are downright brilliant. Here are our top 2 picks:
Type of campaign: CSR + Brand awareness
Telling a trans story without being insensitive is in itself a great feat. Less than 10 words were spoken throughout the video, and yet it made such a powerful impact. Starbucks’ ‘Every name’s a story’ kicked off a conversation and won people's hearts. A great way to show that their employees care and that their hospitality is unmatched.
Type of campaign: Influencer marketing
No one would watch a 45 minute video of someone sitting next to the fireplace, doing absolutely nothing. Unless it's Nick Offerman playing Ron Swanson, drinking a glass of Lagavulin whisky next to the fireplace. Then, it works.
At least it did on a few million people that saw the video. Taking ASMR and implied advertisement on a new level, Laguvulin managed to promote itself by doing absolutely nothing.
Non Profit Organisations
We have a wonderful collection (click the image above to access it) of 5 handpicked marketing campaigns in the non-profit organizations sector, some of which are downright brilliant. Here are our top 2 picks:
Type of campaign: Brand awareness
A brilliant way to call out the lack of gun laws in the U.S and how that affects children in schools, this campaign features a bunch of kids showing off their back-to-school supplies before the true message of the video shines through. A great take on how children in the U.S. have to learn about gun shootings early in their childhood to save their own lives as well as their friends, this campaign hopes to spread awareness about signs of upcoming gun violence before it gets out of hand.
Type of campaign: Brand awareness
Calling out the government for their unethical plastic burning practices, this ad hopes to change just that. A satirical take on the promises made by the UK government to combat climate change by banning plastic commodities (read straws) and their pompous claims of disposing off their waste ethically, this ad shows where the waste really goes and how it affects our ecosystems, finally urging viewers to ask UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take action.
We have a wonderful collection (click the image above to access it) of 8+ handpicked marketing campaigns in the tourism sector, some of which are downright brilliant. Here are our top 2 picks:
Type of campaign: Social media marketing
This campaign focuses on showing the world the wonders of Puerto Rico, but virtually. The basic elements of any culture, recreation & food have been explored in the 3 events held live on Instagram live and Zoom. The campaign is a brilliant way to keep tourism in Puerto Rico alive and exciting while trying to navigate a COVID-ridden world.
Type of campaign: Brand awareness
This campaign is a fun take on New Zealand's tourism. Not a popular tourist destination, this ad perfectly sums up why New Zealand makes for a great one. An Aussie waking up in his dream in New Zealand, only for it to be over within a matter of seconds gives us a glimpse into what touring across New Zealand would feel like. Great way to tease the audience into visiting them.
Information and Technology Services Industry
We have a wonderful collection (click the image above to access it) of 8+ handpicked marketing campaigns in the information and technology services sector, some of which are downright brilliant. Here are our top 2 picks:
Type of campaign: Brand awareness
This campaign highlights how great Upwork is as a platform. The video starts off by saying hi to NASA and asking them if they need any help up there, implying that freelancers on Upwork are capable of everything and more. Moreover, Upwork wants to break away from the quick project platform and hopes to be known as the platform that supplies great talent. The campaign gets the job done.
Type of campaign: Paid marketing
Shopify has a simple marketing motto. Simple, easy and quick, exactly what the brand represents. In this campaign, multiple posters of Shopify were seen across platforms highlighting how easy it is to get onto Shopify and get it up and running in 60 seconds. Shopify positions itself as the future of retail with the CTA common everywhere, ‘get started for free today’.
Marketing campaigns stick with us, they’re often mushy and tug on our heartstrings (always), or have a hint of social justice (Gillette), build a sense of community (Nike), inspire you (Fitbit), arose nostalgia (Beetle), or are sometimes just downright brilliant. We hope these examples inspire you to create your next successful marketing campaign!