4 of The Best Marketing Campaigns of All Time

Every once in a while, an ad will launch that makes people look at a company in a totally different way. It leaves a lasting impression that lets you know what that brand truly values. These four companies did just that.

1. Dove: "Real Beauty"

In 2004, Dove launched their "Real Beauty" campaign to show women that we are all beautiful. In an era of body shaming and model praising, this topic had been largely ignored let alone advertised. Other brands continued to use models to promote their message because that is what people wanted to see, or so they thought. According to Dove’s internal research only about 4% of women around the world found themselves to be beautiful. This study led to the new campaign, billboards, commercials, and a pledge to only use real women to show real beauty. Three years after the launch of this campaign, Dove’s revenue jumped from $2B to $4B.

Of all the material used for this campaign, my favorite is The Real Beauty Sketches from 2013. The Sketches set out to let women know that the way they see themselves is different than how the world sees them. This line of campaigns is now over 16 years old, and has opened the door for other brands to follow.

2. Coca-Cola: "Share A Coke"

You've probably seen a Coke bottle with your name on it in the past few years. If not, you're probably part of the group with uncommon names. In 2011, Coca-Cola launched their "Share A Coke" campaign in Australia, that featured names on the label of the bottle. The commercials were cute and showed people sharing a coke with everyone in their lives. The campaign made its way to the U.S. in 2014. What made this campaign a success was the impact it had on consumers. People were prompted to buy cokes with their name, or the name of their loved ones on it and share it on social media. The content created itself. Even if your name wasn't on a bottle, posts were made about how people wished their name had been on one. Those posts also prompted Coca-Cola to capitalize on that by creating a service that allows you to create your own personalized Coke bottle.

This campaign is up there with one of my favorites. When it first launched, I struggled finding my name. Later releases included general nicknames such as best friend and soulmate, which covered a subsection of people that wanted to buy one but didn't want a random name on their bottle. Not only was this campaign something fun, but it also solidified Coca-Cola as the brand that everyone wants to share. The commercials for this campaign feature some very wholesome content that leaves you wanting to “Share a Coke.”

3. Always: "Like a Girl"

For some ridiculous reason, doing something "like a girl" has always been considered a bad thing. But in 2014, Always decided it was time to break a stereotype that was so damaging to women. As many know, Always is one of the leading brands for female hygiene products. With their audience being women, they decided to shine some light on this stereotype. They featured an ad depicting young girls being told to do things "like a girl," and showing the world how strong we really are. Prior to this airing, research showed that only 19% of women between the ages of 16 to 24 felt that the phrase "like a girl" was positive. However, after this had aired, 76% of women no longer found this phrase to be negative. Always realized that their brand needed to mean more. They wanted to be a brand women and young girls could trust, as well as one that made them feel empowered. This campaign did just that and brought along a lot of positive brand equity.

When I was younger, if someone told me I threw like a girl I would get offended. Many girls my age thought that doing something like a girl was something to be ashamed of. This type of language was damaging to young girls around the world. Always’ commercial sent a loud message to let people know that it was not okay to knock down girls. Campaigns like these are finally being used to empower young women around the world. The future of marketing needs to continue this trend and empower the next generation.

4. Nike: "Just Do It"

I'm not a betting person, but I would bet that most people have used the phrase "Just Do It," at least once in their life. This campaign came about in 1988 in an attempt to combat Reeboks stake in the market. Nike’s first ad for this featured an 80-year-old man who jogged the Golden Gate bridge every day, stating that if others could do it, why not him? The success of this campaign is still evident. It's been over 30 years and hearing the phrase "Just Do it" instantly sends your mind to one brand. From 1988 to 1998, sales jumped from $877 million to $9.2 billion. The messaging combined with celebrity endorsements helped boost this campaign. If athletes could use these shoes to work out and play sports, then why couldn't you just get up and do it? This campaign positioned Nike as a brand that just made working out more desirable.

This might be one of the most creative campaigns I can think of. In just three words, Nike was able to convince people that they needed to be up and moving. That getting up to workout was as simple as just doing it, and that the best way to get it done, was by being in a pair of Nikes. The popularity of the brand caused many people to experience FOMO over a pair of shoes. People wanted to be part of the shoe craze. With this campaign, Nike’s brand awareness is second to none.

Marketing campaigns like these do a lot for their company. They boost revenue, spread brand awareness, and develop trust between the consumer and the brand. If campaigns like these keep being made, the future of marketing is bright.


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