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Marketing 15 min read June 13, 2017

Top 10 Marketing Wins Ever


Elena K.
Editor at Serpstat
Several months ago I posted the worst marketing fails, it received thousands of views and upvotes, that's why I decided to write a contrary post and gather the best marketing wins that not just produced million dollar incomes but changed the marketing standards and turned the traditional societal attitudes upside down.

#1

Volvo Interception campaign

Until recently, the Swedish car corporation Volvo was suffering from lack of awareness in the US, the biggest world market. The American market was a real challenge for Volvo as there were several top players as Jeep, Toyota and Ford and other favorite car brands.

Volvo marketers knew that the best and quickest way to improve awareness in the US is to air the commercial during the Super Bowl — the annual championship game of the National Football League, which is as the highest-rated television broadcast in U.S. But a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl in 2015 was around $4.5 million, which was a sum Volvo couldn't afford. That's why Volvo marketers had to find a way to become a part of the discussion at the biggest advertisement day of the year without leaving a hole in company's budget. And they did it.

Volvo run a twitter contest to have someone win new Volvo's XC60 Luxury Crossover for someone that matters most you by tweeting using "#VolvoContest" whenever a car commercial was aired during the Super Bowl.
The results were unbelievable, they received more than 50,000 tweets during 4 hours. This was an amazing tactic as Volvo created greater buzz around the brand than their competitors paying millions of dollars for 30-second ads. They increased their sales by 70% the month following the Super Bowl. That's why Volvo definitely deserves being #1 on this list.

#2

Volkswagen "Think Small" campaign

Here is another example of how a little-known car brand broke into the foreign market. Volkswagen marketers faced an enormous task: they had to sell a small and strange-looking car designed in Nazi Germany, functional objectives of which were formulated by Adolf Hitler, to Americans fascinated with muscle cars just 15 years after the end of WWII. Sounds impossible, right? And it was really so, but Volkswagen did it.

A two-door ugly car was a complete paradox for Americans of that time. For american people of late 50th the bigger car was the better car. Thus to make them buy a Volkswagen Beetle, which was exact opposite of what a good car of that time was, Volkswagen had to transform the car standards. And it is exactly what they did.
The common car ad of that time was bright and colorful. Here is a Lincoln Cosmopolitan ad, showing the traditional American dream and the luxury car as the indispensable part of it.
As Volkswagen Beetle was the exact opposite of the dream car, the advertising strategy had to be completely different as well. The ad agency Doyle Dane Bernbach created a series of minimalist, black and white, humorous and honest posters. Instead of hiding the car's small size as the main disadvantage of that time, they highlighted this characteristic as the main advantage. Volkswagen changed the world of advertising, showing the power of humor and honesty.

#3

Gillette's "Congratulations on becoming a man" campaign

Do you remember your very first kiss or date? Was it at primary school or kindergarten? But if someone asks you about the "first," you'll definitely imagine your first real, conscious one.
Your first shave won't make you a man, but your first real shave will get you pretty damn close
an official slogan of Gillette's campaign
Gillette sends "Congratulations on becoming a man" package to all men on their 18th birthday. It includes the Gillette razor (different ones in different years), a couple of blades, some shaving cream and a detailed guide on how to shave for the first time.
It's a great tactic, I think. Young guys are happy to receive some unsolicited birthday gift, they are sharing this news on social media as Gillette created a special hashtag #firstreal and placed it on the front side of the package. It's a great way to increase brand's visibility and create buzz around it. You may think, that's a great loss as they send razors to everyone. Yes, they take a loss on the razors but profit on the blades.

As the razors Gillette sends are of high quality, people are using them for lots of years after. Thus due to this promo Gillette makes men buying replacement blades for years. This campaign hasn't changed the marketing standards, but it's well thought-out and smart, that's why it deserves being on this list.

#4

Old Spice: "The man your man could smell like" commercial

Personal care brands face intense competition thus to survive they are searching for new and innovative approaches. Old Spice marketing team figured out that the women were marking the majority of body wash purchases. Men just used their girlfriend's body washes and this had a negative impact on Old Spice's sales and income. Make men buy Old Spice body washes instead of using their wife or girlfriend's ones was quite a difficult task.

That's why Old Spice did something any men personal care brand hadn't done before. They started speaking to women as their new target audience, turning the main problem to their advantage. Old Spice team turned to Wieden+Kennedy ad agency and in February 2010, they run a new advertising company "The man your man could smell like." The first commercial was aired at Super Bowl of 2010, it was hilarious and even ironic 30-second TV spot, where half-naked Old Spice man (Isaiah Mustafa) was encouraging women to buy Old Spice body wash to make their men smell like him.
This video generated a lot of online buzz becoming one of the most watched commercial on Youtube with more than 54 million views. Being well received by people, Old Spice created several more commercials starring Isaiah Mustafa.

Enjoying the dazzling success, several months later Old Spice run a new campaign, where Mustafa replied to all comments Old Spice received through all social media sites. During 3-days campaign Mustafa answered more than 180 comments submitted by the viewers. You can watch them here.

It's another great example how new and original approach leads to success.

#5

Dove: "Real beauty" campaign

For decades, the beauty brands used to show only perfect women in their commercials. A shiny white smile, wrinkle-free, fit bodies, gorgeous hair — this is how all covergirls looked like. Dove was concerned that these beauty standards imposed on society were preventing women from recognizing the beauty in themselves. And in 2004 Dove launched a "Campaign for real beauty" in response to the findings of a global study "The real truth about beauty report," according to which only 2% claimed to be beautiful.

The main goal of this campaign was to redefine beauty, and show women that they are naturally beautiful. Within this campaign, Dove created posters asking what do people think of the woman on the photos. Here are some examples of such billboards:
Dove also created a series of short videos, where brought up a subject of modern beauty industry and its standards. One commercial demonstrates the process of creating the perfect ad photo for a billboard, showing that a common woman can become a covergirl with the help of professional stylists and retouchers.
Another thought-provoking TV video illustrates how beauty industry commercials affect self-perception of a little girl, making her insecure about how she looks.
Another commercial was showing an interesting experiment. A police sketch artist had to draw the same woman twice without seeing her: the first time based on how this woman described herself and the second time on how another person that had never seen this woman before described her.
As a result, sales have jumped from $2.5 billion to $4 billion since the company unveiled its "Campaign for real beauty." But more importantly, Dove gained women's trust and love.

#6

Share a Coke campaign

In 2010 Coca Cola launched a multi-national ad campaign "Share a Coke." The traditional logo was replaced with phrase "Share a Coke with" followed by some name. Marketers analyzed the most popular names for each country this campaign took place, thus more than 90% of people can easily find the bottle with the required name. For others, with unusual names, they added some generic nicknames as "friend," "bro," "baby" etc. You can even visit campaign's official site and order a personalized bottle for your friend with his nickname
for $5.

Such name bottle is the best ad itself. People are taking photos with name bottles and sharing them with their friends on social media. Then their friends are going to the nearest supermarket to buy a bottle of name Coke. Share a Coke campaign is an excellent example of how personalization leads to success.

#7

GoPro

GoPro is an example of how the good itself is the best advertising. With its slogan "Be a Hero" GoPro wants their customers to become heroes of their adventures and their life. Over the past few years, GoPro became synonymous with action cameras. People are capturing moments of themselves doing awesome things and sharing these videos with their friends. Such content becomes viral, and people after watching such bright videos, also want to create something similar, they order GoPro to film their bright moments as well.

#8

Apple's "1984" campaign

In 1984 Apple introduced the Apple Macintosh personal computer. On this regard, they aired a provocative commercial during the Superbowl and more than 30 years after it's considered as one of the greatest Super Bowl commercials ever. The commercial is based on the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" of George Orwell. It was quite a popular novel that described a dystopian future ruled by a televised "Big Brother." The main message of this ad was "On January 24th Apple computer will introduce Macintosh and you'll see why 1984 won't be like "1984."

This commercial generated more buzz than any other Super Bowl ad ever made.

#9

Deadpool marketing campaign

If you haven't seen Deadpool, I can bet you at least heard about it. Deadpool was released on February 12, 2016 in the United States and immediately became the biggest R-rated comic book superhero opening ever. I tried to remember another film marketing campaign of which was equally sensational and maniacal but I failed. Deadpool has cut through the public's consciousness. Seems that every second girl considered going to the cinema to watch Deadpool as a perfect end of Valentine's day.

They created several billboard ads, one was showing Deadpool as a romantic drama, a must-see for upcoming Valentine's day:
Another one was childish but memorable illustrating skull, the 'poo emoji' and the letter L:
Ryan Reynolds played a major role in this campaign, his twitter account was full of Deadpool mentions, he even took part in movie plot creation. Deadpool marketing team even created a movie Instagram account and more than 1.6 million people followed it.

#10

Free booze

Everyone likes a freebie, let alone free booze. This is an old marketing hack, that is still used all over the world. Let's cover several most resourceful ways it's used. Vegas casinos serve free booze to all gamblers. You don't need to waste thousands of dollars before you'll be offered some elite beverage. Casinos don't save on the quality and quantity of alcohol cause the more alcohol people drink, the more money they are ready to spend.

If you vacation in Mexico, some areas have jewelry stores that offer free shots of tequila to anyone who comes in. You don't even have to make a purchase, and it's not a 'one per person' thing. Needless to say, it's pretty easy to sell expensive jewelry to drunk tourists.
Which one you think is the most original and significant? Can your remember other examples of successful marketing campaigns? Share your ideas in comments.
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