The most successful marketing campaigns are those that capture the imagination – whether that is by being thought-provoking, funny, dramatic, quirky, catchy or a combination of all of those. Great marketing is fundamentally about emotional connection.
Businesses of all sizes can learn a lot from those campaigns. You may not be able to afford TV ads or billboards, but you can probably use better imagery and messaging on your website and leaflets. You could also probably try more innovative, viral tactics like SMS marketing (click here to see how you can get started on this) or run your very own video campaign.
Here’s what we can learn from four of this year’s best so far…
Dove – Choose Beautiful
Dove made women all over the world choose between two doors, one that said ‘beautiful’ above it and one that said ‘average’ above it. It’s quite astonishing how many women walk through the ‘average’ door but as the video continues, you begin to hear more about their reasoning and how they regret that decision.
The point Dove is making is that we can choose beautiful. It’s a mindset.
What we can learn from this: Emotional marketing is still huge and making someone think about how they’d react in a certain situation can make a real connection with the brand. This tied the brand into a wider debate on image in a positive way.
April Fools’ Day has become a marketer’s dream but few fake adverts get as far as the PlayStation Flow. Everyone got excited about this wearable tech that would allow you to play the swimming parts of your favourite games.
Alas, PlayStation isn’t quite there with its technology but the advert certainly got people talking. This was then a great chance for PlayStation to talk about Project Morpheus, a virtual reality headset that’s actually in development.
What we can learn from this: April Fools’ Day jokes are a great way to reach the masses if you get it right but it’ll work even better if the concept is realistic and linked to something you’ve been working on. Being funny is good – but having a serious message underneath the joke is even more effective.
O2 – Be More Dog
This ongoing campaign from O2 shows a handsome cat being ‘more dog’. The concept behind this is to enjoy life a bit more, to stop being so serious and to have some fun. Once again, this plays on people’s emotions and gets them excited to go out and do new things (which O2 can help with, of course)!
What we can learn from this: This shows how playing on a person’s emotions can influence them. The Be More Dog campaign also shows the power of using animals in advertising, especially in a day and age where cat videos are one of the most viewed things on the internet.
Sport England – This Girl Can
Our favourite so far this year is the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign from Sport England. The goal of Sport England with these adverts is to encourage women to play sport and take part in fitness activities. The posters, television adverts and social content show women of all shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicities taking part in a wide range of sports with the tag #thisgirlcan.
What we can learn from this: Women connect with images and stories of ‘real’ women. The Youtube video has been hugely successful, with over 8 million views and it’s gone viral on social media. Women have found it inspiring, empowering and accessible.
It’s clear from all of those successful campaigns that accessible technology and social media is shaping mainstream marketing. Whether it’s cats or ‘real women’, marketing is being democratised. We can all learn a lot from the marketing moguls. But, just like street fashion sets the trends in the fashion industry, the real marketing gurus those days are the online trend-setters.