Have you ever caught yourself humming a catchy jingle, only to realise that it’s an advertisement, perhaps even from years ago? This may have prompted you to ask yourself why this advertisement made such an impact on you, and if your company could ever dream of achieving the same level of marketing success.
At this point, you may feel discouraged as these famous, multi-million-dollar companies have infinite resources to create outstanding campaigns, whilst your small company’s advertising budget may run merely on a shoestring.
Don’t despair, however, for there is hope. Let’s take a look at five ultra-successful marketing campaigns from the past and extract a few key principles that will lend themselves well to your own campaign, no matter how big or small.
1. Apple’s “Get a Mac” Campaign
Apple’s “Get a Mac” Campaign, which ran from 2006-2010, portrayed the rivalry between Mac and PC by having one actor (Justin Long) enact a Mac, and another actor (John Hodgman) personify a PC. The two characters bantered back and forth in a series of TV advertisements, with PC clearly being the awkward, ‘try-hard’ guy, and Mac being the effortlessly cool and laid back dude.
Each ad featured an example of why Mac is superior to PC, such as the fact that PCs often need to be restarted, are prone to viruses, are lacking in creative applications, and aren’t as compatible with as many other devices as Macs are.
The ads were amusing in their content, and relatable to real-life social situations, but what really made the campaign award-winningly successful was that it made a very clear point in a very subtle manner. (That point, of course, being that Macs are preferable to PCs.)
2. Coca Cola’s “Open Happiness” Campaign
Coca Cola’s “Open Happiness Campaign ran in the first half of 2009, its main purpose being to increase Coke sales which were waning after the global economic crisis of 2008. The campaign invited people around the world to refresh themselves with a Coke and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. It featured a multi-faceted approach including special promotions, outdoor and print advertising, as well as digital marketing, all of which were centred around a specially composed “Open Happiness” song that was created by Atlantic Records.
The campaign was catchy and light-hearted, something that you could catch yourself grooving along to, and indeed, the song topped music charts.
The main reason that Coke’s “Open Happiness” campaign was so successful, however, is that it appealed to a wider global market. Although the song was originally composed for the American market, it was soon re-recorded in numerous foreign languages, and adapted to the tastes and preferences of other countries, so that they too would be inclined to purchase Coke for its lifestyle appeal.
3. AAMI’s “Rhonda and Ketut” Campaign
With car insurance being a rather dry product, AAMI set themselves apart from the competition in the saturated insurance market by producing an amusing series of TV advertisements featuring Rhonda, a middle-aged Aussie tourist, and Ketut, a Balinese resort worker, who have a fling.
The campaign ran for 6 months between 2011 and 2012, and reeled viewers in, resulting in over 20% of new business opportunities for AAMI.
Several aspects made the campaign a success, such as bringing a relatively mundane product to life, and building an emotional connection with the target audience. However, what truly made the campaign a success was blurring the distinction between marketing and entertainment. Viewers became so hooked on the characters of Rhonda and Ketut, that they were eager for the next instalment of their romance. This created the perfect scenario for AAMI: having their potential clientele anticipating their advertisements because their campaign provided entertainment.
4. Compare the Market’s “Compare the Meerkat” Campaign
Prominent insurance comparison website, Compare the Market, launched the similarly named “Compare the Meerkat” campaign in 2009, which ran until 2013. Over a dozen animated TV commercials featured the cuddly creatures Aleksandr Orlov and his trusty sidekick, Sergei, who have since become as popular as Disney characters.
In addition to the TV advertisements, Compare the Market also created stuffed animal versions of the meerkats, which were given to customers who bought insurance through the website. A hugely popular autobiography of the fictional Aleksandr was then written, followed by a series of six additional books.
The meerkats campaign, which doubled the worth of the company, not only boasted a high entertainment value, but has also set the company up to portray itself as one who listens to its customers. In this we find a major marketing lesson; namely, the meerkats were taken off the screens last year, possibly to avoid annoying the audience, but were brought back this year, due to customers’ popular demand.
5. Old Spice’s “Old Spice Guy” Campaign
Formerly known as a deodorant and body wash brand for dull, middle-aged men, Old Spice kicked things into gear in 2010 by targeting younger men with a series of witty ads featuring the suave Isaiah Mustafa as “The Old Spice Guy.” The ads were fresh, interesting, and used an abstract form of humour, in which the Old Spice Guy moved from one bizarre scene to the next all whilst maintaining eye contact with the viewer.
The campaign, which resulted in an 107% sales increase for the brand, was successful on multiple levels, the most notable being that it fully engaged with the audience on social media. For example, when viewers posted questions and comments about the ads, Old Spice replied with personalised response videos on YouTube, which in turn, motivated even more viewers to engage with the campaign.
This brilliant move even resulted in tweets from celebrities, which further widened Old Spice’s fan base as it accessed and pulled in the celebrities’ Twitter followers.
As we can see, these five marketing campaigns all made a human connection with their target audience in an entertaining, and often humorous way, which is an excellent model for any successful campaign, including yours. No matter how big or small your campaign, inserting these key principles into your advertising will result in your company standing out above the competition, thereby attracting new business.
To see how Kwik Kopy can help you get your own entertaining website or marketing campaign started speak to the team at your local Kwik Kopy.