We love marketing campaigns that make us think. That excite us. That inspire us. One of our values is to #huntfortheedge, which is why we’ve scoured the internet for the most innovative marketing campaigns we could find. Sometimes, all you need is a little bit of inspiration to get the creative juices flowing.
Check out our favourite marketing campaigns and why we loved them.
1. Dove's Reverse Selfie
2. Spotify Wrapped
3. Twitter’s “If you can dream it you can tweet it” campaign
4. CPB London’s ‘Imagine’ campaign
5. Apple's “Shot On iPhone” Campaign
We are kicking it off with Dove, which is well known for its exceptional marketing campaigns. Their brand voice is clear and booming, advocating body positivity, self-love and acceptance in everything they do.
In a nutshell, the Reverse Selfie campaign focuses on the extreme photo editing that a lot of young women do before uploading a selfie to social media. This video is played in reverse, showing all the touch-ups being taken away to reveal a natural, un-edited girl. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is definitely worth a watch!
Their Reverse Selfie campaign stands out for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is an extremely timely and relevant message. In 2022, the likes of FaceTune and body-altering apps have become much more prominent on social media. As a result, it is causing extreme damage to young women’s self-esteem. Dove’s Reverse Selfie campaign is flipping the narrative of female beauty on social media and exposing the reality behind the picture.
It is also effective in its simplicity. There is no confusion about the messaging, which is the key to any good marketing campaign. It has a clear call to action, asking viewers to “have the selfie talk” and head to their website to find out more. What's more, it is very clearly on-brand without having a SELL SELL SELL mentality.
The Spotify wrapped campaign is a personal favourite of mine, and has been for years. It is a little treat you can always count on at the end of the year. Spotify is known for its exceptional personalisation across the app, whether that be “Discover Weekly” playlists (with new artists they think you’ll like) or the “Release Radar” playlist (with new releases from all your favourite artists). The Spotify Wrapped marketing campaign is no exception to this top-tier personalisation.
The Spotify Wrapped marketing campaign is a personalised wrap-up of all the music you’ve listened to over the year, curated into a neat little slideshow. They utilise all the data from your yearly listening habits and pop it into an easy-to-digest format that people love.
I think the main reason for its success comes down to the fact that people love personalisation. It makes them feel seen rather than feeling like a cog in the machine. Spotify staff describe this campaign as a way of giving back to their users, which in turn increases brand loyalty.
The second reason for its success is that they utilise an aesthetically pleasing, engaging format that is easily shareable across social media. It has become a viral social media marketing campaign, with so many people posting their top artist of the year or most listened-to song on Instagram. It is no wonder that Spotify subscriptions increase at the end of the year!
If it is inspiration you are looking for, this Twitter marketing campaign is a winner. With billboards displayed in eight North American cities, this traditional marketing campaign caught the attention of many.
This Twitter campaign incorporates a picture of a celebrity next to an old tweet they’ve made in the past. The old tweet is them expressing their dreams, hopes and desires for the future. It is accompanied by a photo showing that they managed to achieve their dreams since this initial tweet. It is a great visual way to show viewers how they were able to make their dreams a reality.
It is simple and has a very clear message. It also has a visual association with Twitter, so you will remember the company behind the campaign. Another aspect that makes it so effective is the nature of the messaging. It inspires hope and shows viewers that you can achieve your dreams like all these other stars that tweeted their dreams into existence.
Advertising company CPB London created posters that asked the reader to imagine a scenario and then ask whether a woman or a man comes to mind. The Imagine campaign challenged stereotypical gender roles and ways of thinking.
This idea was spurred on by a nationwide primary school study where 39% of children believe that mothers should look after their babies while fathers should go to work. Launched around International Women’s Day, this campaign questioned people's preconceived notions about gender.
This campaign is very visually effective from a design point of view, with the bold messaging taking centre stage. It allows the messaging to come across clearly and become a talking point. Generating discussion on preconceived gender roles and challenging them was the goal of this campaign and it seems to have achieved this with ease. It was also extremely timely, having aligned with International Women's Day.
This campaign is an ongoing social media campaign to promote the iPhone and highlight its camera capabilities. It relies on people taking photos on their iPhones, uploading them to social media and using the hashtag #ShotOniPhone in the caption.
This idea stemmed from Apple noticing that users were frequently posting photos and tagging them with trending hashtags. They jumped on this trend and worked with others to create visual content that showcased the high-quality iPhone camera, using their signature hashtag. This commissioned content then became the foundation for the “Shot On iPhone Challenge”, which resulted in a bunch of unique submissions from users all around the world.
This campaign is largely effective because it relies heavily on user-generated content. User-generated content is created by real users of the product, and is a great way for businesses to obtain content for their socials. Not only that, but this type of content tends to receive better engagement than other types.
When people are posting their photos shot with Apple on their page, it gets it in front of a wider audience. The more people that are posting #ShotOniPhone, the higher the trust becomes amongst the general public. If your friend is posting about how great the iPhone camera is, you are probably going to believe them. In contrast, if someone is getting paid to promote the product, it greatly diminishes the authenticity of the review in the viewer's eyes.
This type of campaign also allows for a wide range of creative contributions, with no caps or restrictions on creativity. As of right now, this hashtag has a whopping 26.7 million posts.
At the end of the day, successful marketing campaigns have so many nuts and bolts. It is hard to pinpoint one secret ingredient that leads to success. However, we can narrow it down to some of the most successful components.
Marketing is all about telling a story. To tell a good story, you need to have a clear goal in mind of what you want to achieve. Your next step is to find a way to hammer this message home in a way that is easy to digest and understand. As you may have noticed with the examples above, you didn’t have to rack your brain very hard to understand what they were trying to say.
It’s not just about what you are saying, but when you are saying it. When your message aligns with current societal issues, it is often a lot more effective. For example, the Dove's Reverse Selfie is a perfect example of a message that is extremely relevant to the current social media climate. If it is a timely message, people are more likely to care.
Although not a must-do, it is a good idea to consider. If you are on a tight budget, user-generated content can be a great way to obtain free content and create good engagement. If people see their peers creating content for your brand, their trust levels in your brand are likely to increase.
Written by: Savannah Luca - Content Producer