Great marketing campaigns are the secret behind the success of many businesses, but only the most talented marketers can pull it off.
But what defines a successful marketing campaign? The fact that you’re able to grab the attention of potential customers and convert them into sales.
I divided this article into two parts. First, I’ve listed down some of the best marketing campaign examples from businesses all over the world, and then an optimal step-by-step process on how to create a successful campaign.
Marketing Campaign Examples
#1. Method: Fight Dirty
If you want everyone out there to be talking about your campaign, go for humour.
It launched one of the most creative marketing campaigns that not only educated consumers on the importance of cleaning their hands to reduce the transfer of diseases in the cold and flu season, but it also added a hilarious twist to it by secretly recording them in public restrooms.
Plus, Method hired Tiffany Haddish who was termed the funniest woman alive by Vanity, which was a great move to get their viewers laughing.
The marketing campaign was not only successful because it was funny (that is what it took to make it viral) but because it managed to get the real message across.
And what was that?
80% of common infections are transferred through hands, which means 111 million workdays and $7 billion of productivity are lost within a span of just a few months. Yeah… wow!
The name of the campaign, ‘Fight Dirty’ was the first step in getting customers to understand this.
Method’s tagline is also ‘People against Dirty’, which works well for its cause i.e. getting people to be more hygienic.
Check out the video if you’re having a bad day because trust me, it is hilarious!
#2. Nike: House of Innovative Beacon
I mean, Nike has absolutely no boundaries, and that’s exactly what translates to great marketing in the business world!
In its flagship store, Nike created a real-life experience for its customers by hanging a mixed media sculpture, which was 3 STORIES high, right in the middle of the store.
It’s not your average store, which is why it’s definitely on my bucket list:
The beacon continuously plays Nike’s sporting moments throughout its history while visitors shop, but it’s not just the only thing that’s innovative about the store.
The entire store has 0 employees; customers can just book shoes online and pick them up at the store.
Not just that, but there’s an entire floor dedicated to customised products where customers can change colours, logos and create an entirely personalised product for themselves.
Does it get any better than that?
The key takeaway from this campaign is that the company effectively markets its brand through innovation, technology and great customer experience.
Plus, Nike put its money where its mouth is by naming their store ‘House of Innovation’.
#3. Organic Valley
Did you know that we have only about 12 years till climate change is irreversible? That’s pretty scary, and that’s exactly why companies are moving towards sustainable production.
Organic Valley is a food company that was crazy enough to change everything:
The company’s name says it all.
They started with only 7 farmers in Wisconsin, but because of their healthy farming practices that were great for the soil, animals and consumers, they now supply food all over the country.
The key takeaway? Sometimes, it’s not about creativity, innovation or technology, it’s just about marketing the right thing for everybody.
Their marketing campaign created the awareness that people needed to understand how harmful artificial farming practices can be for the earth as well as our bodies, and that’s all it took for them to shift to organically grown products.
Organically grown food is turning into an entire global industry which is very profitable since most educated adults prefer healthier food, even if it costs them more.
The reason behind the success of Organic Valley which got consumers to trust them was the fact that they shared their journey with the world.
If you have a unique story, tell it to your customers because that’s one way to ensure that your marketing campaign will be successful.
#4. Intel: Powering Creativity
For this campaign, Intel hired the professional tennis player Serena Williams and the musician Metro Boomin, neither of which has anything to do with technology.
So then how did they make the connection?
Intel marketed its brand in the most subtle way possible:
If it wasn’t for the logo at the start and end of the advertisement, there would have been no way to tell Intel was the face of the campaign – but that’s exactly what the company was aiming for.
Sometimes, product placements that are right in the face of consumers can be a bit overwhelming, and quite frankly, a bit annoying.
The video shows how Boomin creates the perfect sound effects for William’s tennis warm-up, which is related to the performance on Intel’s products; thus, urging customers to ‘experience what’s inside’.
#5. Super 8: The Power Hug
When advertising, there are two approaches you can take for your product to appeal to customers: rational and emotional.
That’s the first rule of advertising that they teach in business school and it applies to every situation.
Anyhow, getting the emotional appeal right can be very tricky because it’s only successful when you’re able to elicit emotions from viewers.
Luckily, Super 8 hit the bullseye.
The American hotel brand collaborated with the Human Hug Project to create this beautifully inspiring video that highlighted PTSD:
The two war veterans that worked on the project created awareness by telling their own post-war life stories and how their experiences had brought about so many traumas that simple things like a hug could fix.
There were several factors behind the success of this campaign, including the fact that it was launched around Veterans Day, but more importantly because it brought viewers (and me) to tears.
It created empathy and awareness about what militants go through; thus, showcasing the company’s support for the military.
Super 8 is one of the biggest hotel chains in the US, but its marketing campaigns have nothing to do with the company or its services.
This sets an example of how you can connect with your audience simply by contributing to a cause that is important to society in general – which will automatically make consumers trust your brand.
How to create a successful marketing campaign
#1. Quantify your goals
The first step of any project is always planning.
Quantifying goals helps you and your team to focus on SMART goals i.e. goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based:
So for example, you’ll need to determine the exact number of consumers your marketing campaign aims to target and what percentage of these consumers it intends on converting into customers.
#2. Formulate ideas
You can get all the technical details right, but the truth is, you’ll never have a successful campaign without a creative idea.
Thus, this should be the most crucial step in your process. You simply cannot proceed without the right idea.
Think out of the box – come up with innovative ideas and don’t limit yourself.
Even with the lowest budgets, all you have to do is get your idea noticed and social media users will do the rest of the work for you.
They’ll get it trending in no time – all you need to do is come up with something worth their time.
#3. Specify your target audience
This step requires a lot of reliance on your R&D department because they will determine the characteristics of your target market so be sure to invest in that.
The concept is simple. Targeting your product/brand towards the right target market will ensure higher effectiveness.
Plus, a more concentrated target audience means that you have to spend less time and resources on reaching potential customers and convincing them to try your brand.
#4. Sell your Unique Proposition
You need to market the best possible feature of your product instead of overwhelming your customers with all the features.
Plus, you have to do this in a way that captivates their attention – come up with a catchy slogan, tagline or phrase.
Better yet, if you have a competitive advantage that no other brand in the market offers, focus on that.
However, the first situation is more likely since there is increasingly aggressive competition in most industries and you’re going to have to differentiate your product based on consumer perception and intangible features, like Coke or Apple:
The soft drink manufacturer has had several taglines over the years but ‘Happiness’ is one of the most famous ones.
In a situation where Coca Cola has almost the same product as Pepsi, the brand marketed its product claiming that drinking the beverage would bring happiness to people, and consumers feel that it truly does!
All this was due to creative marketing campaigns and promotional efforts.
Similarly, the tech giant Apple markets its products based on exclusivity:
Apple released this advertisement a decade ago but it has stood by its strategy to market its products to high-income, niche markets that prefer high-end products.
Even though competitor brands like Samsung and Huawei offer products with similar features and prices to that of Apple’s products, consumers still perceive Apple products as classier and expensive – available to only the richest people; thus, making them exclusive.
#5. Measure and improve
When you see successful campaigns, it’s hard to believe how they lucky they got but the truth is, it’s rare that a brand gets it right in the first try.
Most brands fail and that’s a good thing!
Failures help you learn but only if you measure your performance and identify where you’re going so that you can rectify the mistake to improve your strategy in the future.
Check out this list of digital marketing tools that’ll do the technical work for you i.e. provide you with real-time graphs and results that can help you assess where you’re going wrong and how you can improve.
So these were the best marketing campaign examples I could find in the last few years, each that was successful due to a different reason which hopefully you can incorporate into your marketing strategy.
If you want deeper insight into the topic, check out my guide on Digital Marketing Examples because these days, the only marketing that gets noticed is online.