The Best Marketing Campaigns — Ever
Not every marketing campaign hits it out of the park, but when one does it can have a monumental impact on the organization it’s for. Over at HubSpot Blogs,writer Lindsay Kolowich put together a list of the 12 greatest marketing campaigns of all time. You can see the full list here, and get some inspiration for your own upcoming campaigns below:
1. Nike: Just Do It.
Did you know that, once upon a time, Nike’s product catered almost exclusively to marathon runners? Then, a fitness craze emerged — and the folks in Nike’s marketing department knew they needed to take advantage of it to surpass their main competitor, Reebok. (At the time, Reebok was selling more shoes than Nike). And so, in the late 1980s, Nike created the “Just Do It.” campaign.
It was a hit.
In 1988, Nike sales were at $800 million; by 1998, sales exceeded $9.2 billion. “Just Do It.” was short and sweet, yet encapsulated everything people felt when they were exercising — and people still feel that feeling today. Don’t want to run five miles? Just Do It. Don’t want walk up four flights of stairs? Just Do It. It’s a slogan we can all relate to: the drive to push ourselves beyond our limits.
So when you’re trying to decide the best way to present your brand, ask yourself what problem are you solving for your customers. What solution does your product or service provide? By hitting on that core issue in all of your marketing messaging, you’ll connect with consumers on an emotional level that is hard to ignore.
2) Volkswagen: Think Small
Many marketing and advertising professionals like to call Volkswagen’s “Think Small” campaign the gold standard. Created in 1960 by a legendary advertising group at Doyle Dane & Bernbach (DDB), the campaign set out to answer one question: How do you change peoples’ perceptions not only about a product, but also about an entire group of people?
See, Americans always had a propensity to buy big American cars — and even 15 years after WWII ended, most Americans were still not buying small German cars. So what did this Volkswagen advertisement do? It played right into the audience’s expectations. You think I’m small? Yeah, I am. They never tried to be something they were not.
That’s the most important takeaway from this campaign: Don’t try to sell your company, product, or service as something it’s not. Consumers recognize and appreciate honesty.
3) California Milk Processor Board: Got Milk?
Thanks to the California Milk Processor Board’s “Got Milk?” campaign, milk sales in California rose 7% in just one year. But the impact ran across state borders, and to this day, you still can’t escape the millions of “Got [Fill-in-the-Blank]?” parodies.
Note, though, that the ad didn’t target people who weren’t drinking milk; but instead focused on the consumers who already were. The lesson here? It’s not always about getting a brand new audience to use your products or services — sometimes, it’s about getting your current audience to appreciate and use your product more often. Turn your audience into advocates, and use marketing to tell them why they should continue to enjoy the product or service you are already providing for them.