June 26, 2019

Ten Years, Ten Show-stopping Marketing Campaigns

Throughout modern history, marketing has evolved considerably. Where once the likes of print media and radio advertising provided a solid platform for businesses to showcase their products, brand identity or key message, today, the digital age has helped to take things to a whole other level.

Because of this, marketing budgets are higher now than ever before – and for people looking to build a career in marketing, that can only be a good thing. But with bigger budgets comes an even bigger responsibility to land the next ‘big thing’. What is it that makes a particular campaign so great?

The National Lottery – This Girl Can (2015)

Arriving in a series of posters to accompany a huge televised commercial campaign, The National Lottery’s ‘This Girl Can’ has been attributed to inspiring over two million women across the UK to be more active. By filming women as they exercise before adding captions such as ‘I jiggle, therefore I am’, this brilliant project capitalised on two of the decade’s most prominent notions – fitness and feminism.

John Lewis – Monty the Penguin (2014)

Every year, John Lewis manage to turn their Christmas advert into a national phenomenon. By cashing in on social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, 2014’s ‘Monty the Penguin’ spread around the digital world like wildfire. Despite the actual advert itself running as a huge advertisement on television, John Lewis also utilised YouTube – a decision that resulted in over 1.8 million views on its first day of release.

O2 – Be More Dog (2013)

Subtle symbolism, comedy and reversed stereotypes – just three things O2 managed to achieve in 2013’s ‘Be More Dog’ campaign. Arriving in the form of television ads, posters and viral videos, it didn’t take long for the UK to fall in love with the thought of cats chasing sticks and digging holes. Bravery was at the heart of this campaign, and it’s one that London-based agency VCCP should be proud of pitching.

Red Bull – Stratos (2012)

Despite being almost four years old, Felix Baumgartner’s 128,000 freefall from space feels as pioneering today as it did in 2012. As a purely digital project, over eight million people tuned in to YouTube to watch the Austrian rocket to earth at speeds reaching 833.3 miles per hour. And with over 200,000 Facebook likes and 29,000 shares in less than 40 minutes, the success of Red Bull’s ‘Stratos’ won’t be dismissed anytime soon.

Volkswagen – The Force (2011)

In shooting Darth Vader strolling down a white hallway, Volkswagen’s ‘The Force’ successfully took advantage of one of the most familiar soundtracks and cinematic villains of all time in a bid to engage with their audience. Emotive, engaging and comedic, this particular TV ad shows us that even the slightest look, whether it be of disdain or surprise, can speak more than any script could ever hope to achieve.

Old Spice – The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (2010)

Originally scripted for television, it didn’t take long for Old Spice’s ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ campaign to gain some momentum across a range of digital platforms. Despite some notable cases of celebrity interaction, Old Spice made the decision to follow-up the project with a real-time branding feature which posted personal video responses to fans of the campaign online.

T- Mobile – Flashmob (2009)

One of the greatest viral adverts of all time, when T-Mobile’s ‘Flashmob’ first aired in 2009, nobody could have predicted the trends, spoofs and social chatter that followed. By taking the simple premise of a dance performance and placing it within the unfamiliar setting of a London station during rush hour, it didn’t take long before the agency behind the ad, Saatchi & Saatchi, won the coveted ‘Advert of the Year’ award.

Obama – Change (2008)

Marketing isn’t simply about selling a product, it can also be used to sell a message – and for Barack Obama in 2008, that message was one of ‘change’. How Obama marketed this message has been widely applauded since he was elected in 2008, and given his ability to successfully implement a digital strategy while his rival, John McCain, relied on older methods such as telemarketing, it’s easy to see why.

Cadbury’s – Gorilla (2007)

Featuring a man dressed in a gorilla suit playing air drums to Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’, the simple nature of Cadbury’s ‘Gorilla’ ad made it an instant hit when it launched in 2007. With over 10 million views on YouTube, Juan Cabral’s creation didn’t only help to boost Cadbury’s market share, it also provided enough of a show-stopper to help people forget the salmonella scare that threatened the company in 2006.

Jobs in Town – Life’s Too Short for the Wrong Job (2006)

In a world filled with cutting edge technology, multimedia platforms and digital potential, sometimes it’s the simplest of things that reap the greatest reward. For Jobs in Town, that was definitely the case. By creating a series of hard-hitting posters that could be installed throughout the urban environment, the German company were able to create one of the most memorable campaigns of the past decade.

Think you’ve got what it takes to create the next big campaign? Kickstart your career with GSM London and invest in a BSc (Hons) in Marketing – or, check out the prospectus to find the creative qualification your future needs.

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