Which marketing is best and why

The 14 best ad campaigns of all time

What is the goal of an advertising campaign?

Typical goals of a Advertising campaign lie in the areas "Image", "Brand Awareness" and "Increase in Sales". Naturally, these are closely intertwined - if brand awareness increases and the brand image also improves, more people will in all probability become buyers of your products or services. However, there are also types of campaigns that have somewhat different purposes, for example by being of an informative nature or with the aim of recruiting young professionals. The following types of advertising campaigns can be roughly distinguished:
  • Image campaign: Here a brand wants to position itself through new values ​​and thus change its image. Example: McDonald's changes its symbolic logo from red to green.

  • Sales campaign: This campaign is positioned around the point of sale and aims to directly increase sales. It is characteristic of this that buying opportunities are created. Typical manifestations are seasonal campaigns (e.g. at Christmas), anniversary offers or campaign weeks.

  • Classic advertising campaign: This campaign simultaneously pays for the three pillars of brand awareness, brand image and increased sales. Characteristic here is a combination of different advertising media (media mix) that are coordinated with one another and are used on various channels.

  • Theme campaign: The aim of a theme campaign can be recruiting (example: Volkswagen) as well as providing information about a topic (example: natural regions in Germany for hiking) or also to do prevention work (example: "Don't give AIDS a chance" by the German AIDS Federation).

How long does an advertising campaign last?

The duration of an advertising campaign depends on various factors and can therefore not be determined per se. For example, if you are planning a campaign with a seasonal focus (e.g. around Christmas), the start and end times are set automatically. If, on the other hand, your campaign is to serve as a test balloon for a new advertising strategy, you can determine whether the campaign was successful on a quarterly basis by looking at the extent to which the key figures for brand awareness and sales have changed during this period. On the basis of this information, it can then be decided whether and for how long the campaign should continue or whether it should be adapted, further developed or completely discontinued.

What does an advertising campaign cost?

The cost of an advertising campaign can vary widely. Depending on whether your company has its own marketing department and thus you can use internal resources, or whether you hire an external service provider, the prices are very different. If you put the brainstorming, conception, implementation and campaign support completely in someone else's hands, the costs will be calculated according to the agency's pricing model.

Another cost point arises from the choice of your advertising material: The media mix or the specific distribution channels can cost very differently here. Companies may have to pay four- and five-digit sums for a prime-time TV spot on public broadcasters, while less traditional formats such as online advertising via social media or Google Ads can be price-adjusted more flexibly

Good advertising: 14 examples (and the secret of their success)

In the following, we would like to present our selection of top-class advertising campaigns to you. Have fun!

1. Nike: Just do it.

Did you know that many years ago Nike products were intended almost exclusively for marathon runners? When sport and fitness became more and more popular at some point, however, the heads of Nike's marketing department began to smoke. Eventually, you had to find a way to get past its main competitor, Reebok (at the time, Reebok was selling more shoes than Nike). And so the advertising campaign “Just Do It.” Was born at the end of the 1980s.

A stroke of genius!

In 1988, Nike had sales of $ 800 million. 10 years later, the company had sales of a whopping $ 9.2 billion. The “Just Do It.” Campaign was short, concise and simply good. She challenged customers to just go ahead and got to the heart of exactly what people feel about exercising.

Even today, many can identify with this phrase. Do you doubt that you can run three miles? “Just Do It!” - just do it! Tired of running up the stairs? "Just Do It!" - Do it anyway! This slogan hits the bull's eye and motivates us to go beyond our limits.

So when you're working on a concept to showcase your brand to the public, ask yourself the following question: What solution does your product or service offer customers? With a marketing message that pays close attention to this, you reach your target group on an emotional level - and there it is difficult to ignore.

2. Absolut Vodka: With a simple bottle to absolute success

The Absolut Vodka vodka bottle has no special shape. Nevertheless, the company managed to make its bottle a trademark. No other bottle in the world has a higher recognition value! The campaign in which the bottles are shown "in the wilderness" was so successful that it ran for a full 25 years! This makes it the longest, uninterrupted advertising campaign of all time with more than 1,500 individual ads. Absolut was true to the motto: As long as it works, we'll just keep going.

At the start of the campaign, Absolut's share of the vodka market was a meager 2.5 percent. When the campaign ended in the late 2000s, the company was exporting 4.5 million boxes a year to the United States. Absolut thus represented half of American vodka imports.

What do marketers learn from this? Even if your product doesn't look particularly exciting, there is still an exciting way to tell your story. Please let the number sink in again:Absolutely 1,500 ads created with a simple bottle. The bottom line? Develop an innovative marketing concept and then implement it consistently.

3. Miller Lite: Less alcohol, more flavor

Have you ever thought about creating a whole new market for your product? Miller Brewing (now MillerCoors) did just that with the light beer market - and thus became the leading supplier there. The aim of the “Great Taste, Less Filling” campaign (which means “less alcohol, more taste”) was to convince “real men” of the light beer.

However, the company had to dispel some prejudices because consumers believed that light beer simply couldn't taste as good as “real” beer. Miller knew what the problem was, and that's why he resorted to very masculine advertising faces. They drank the light beer with pleasure and self-confidence and emphasized the great taste.

For decades after the campaign, Miller Lite still dominated the light beer market, which the company had virtually invented. What can marketers learn from this? Step out of the masses. Someone says there is no market for your product? Then create your own and take advantage of being the only provider to become the market leader in your niche.

4. Volkswagen: Think Small

For many professionals from the marketing and advertising industry, “Think Small” from Volkswagen represents the ultimate in advertising campaigns. The campaign was developed in 1960 by a legendary marketing team at Doyle Dane & Bernbach (DDB) and was primarily devoted to one question: How do you change people's perception of a product and a whole group of people?

Americans have always been drawn to big American cars. Even 15 years after the end of World War II, most Americans didn't want to buy small, German cars. So what was Volkswagen doing in its ad? The company met the audience's expectations!You think i am little? Yes I am. They never tried to be anything other than what they were.

The bottom line from this campaign: Don't sell your business, product, or service as something it isn't. Consumers value honesty - and you will be rewarded for it.

5. Marlboro: The Marlboro man

The ads with the Marlboro man as a leading figure have been around since 1955 and they demonstrate the success of a brand that sells its product as a lifestyle. Do you want to be free? Do you want to be a real cowboy? Do you want to go out into the wild? It is precisely these attributes that characterize the Marlboro man. The ads were so successful because they embodied the ideal lifestyle that many men wanted at the time.

What can we learn from it? Remember that your product - or whatever you're selling - should fit the lifestyle, or at least the idealized lifestyle, of your target audience.

6. California Milk Processor Board: Got Milk?

Thanks to the California Milk Processor Board's Got Milk? Campaign, milk sales in California rose 7 percent in just one year. And the campaign was having an impact even beyond the state's borders. Even today one comes across parodies of the “Got Milk?” Slogan.

The interesting thing about this campaign is that the ad wasn't aimed at people whono Drank milk, but rather to consumers who already bought milk.

What do we learn from it? Sometimes the point is not to bring your product or service closer to a new target group. It may be enough to convince your current buyers to use the product more often. Find advocates for your brand in your target audience and focus your advertising campaign on why people should keep using your product.

7. Dove: True beauty

"Only those who feel beautiful and comfortable in their skin through the right care can also radiate this." The "True Beauty" campaign by Dove, which has been causing a sensation worldwide since its start in 2004, revolves around this topic. The campaign is based on a simple but very effective approach to persona marketing: The company develops advertisements on the subject of "self-image", "self-acceptance" and "body positivity", which it knows will provide for its customers important concern is.

One example is the “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign. This is based on a scientific experiment in which an FBI phantom artist was asked to make two drawings of women without seeing them. First he drew a portrait based on her self-description and then based on the description of a complete stranger.

The pictures were completely different and showed how much the perception of oneself and that of others differ from one another. Dove underscored this sobering experiment with a sad statistic: Only 4 percent of all women in the world think they are beautiful.

What did Dove achieve with this campaign? The videos with the drawings have been viewed more than 114 million times, 3.74 million times shared, uploaded in 25 languages ​​and viewed in 110 countries. In the media and blog landscape, the campaign achieved more than 4 billion impressions thanks to clever placement. With this campaign, Dove met with a considerable response and was able to touch the target group for a long time.

8. Apple: Get a Mac

While there are many great Apple campaigns out there, this one stands out from the rest. The “Mac vs. PC” discussion became one of the most successful Apple campaigns ever. In the first year of the campaign, the company's market share grew 42 percent. The campaign tells the Mac audience everything they need to know about the product - and the small, humorous sketch. A clever move that the target group rewarded accordingly.

What do we take away from this campaign? Just because your product has many great features doesn't mean you have to overwhelm your audience with a long list of them. Instead, show very specifically how the consumer can benefit from your product - for example in short, pointed advertising intervals.

9. Clairol: Did she? Or did she not?

When Clairol first asked this question in 1957, it turned out that one in fifteen people dye their hair. Only eleven years later it was loudTIME Magazine one of two people. The campaign was apparently so successful that some states in the USA even changed the driving license law: the hair color no longer had to be specified. If your campaign can do something like this, then it really works!

Clairol did exactly the opposite of what a marketer would normally want: The company didn't want every woman on the street to tell around that she used the product. More importantly, the women realized that the Clairol product is so good that no one can really tell whether it is being used or not.

The bottom line: Sometimes it is enough to cleverly convey how and why your product works. Then pictures are enough - and words are completely superfluous.

10. De Beers: A diamond lasts a lifetime

In 1999, AdAge named De Beers' slogan “A Diamond is Forever” (in German roughly “A diamond lasts a lifetime”) as the most memorable advertising slogan of the 20th century. But the campaign didn't just jump on the bandwagon of a successful industry. Rather, the company said “Yes!” To a clever campaign idea (the pun is intended): the only way to really seal the bond is with a diamond ring. In fact, De Beers actually built the industry.

According toNew York Times wanted N.W. Ayer achieve that at some point almost everyone will consider an engagement to be perfect only with a corresponding ring.

What do we learn from it? Marketing can make it possible for a perfectly normal product to become an indispensable luxury item.

11. Old Spice: The man your husband might smell like

The Wieden + Kennedy agency developed the following commercial for the “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, which first aired in February 2010 and became a viral hit practically overnight:

The video now has over 57 million clicks. A few months after the clip was released, a second spot followed in June 2010 with the same actor Isaiah Mustafa, who quickly became an advertising character "Old Spice Guy". The Wieden + Kennedy agency used this nickname for an interactive video campaign in which Mustafa responded to fan comments on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites with short, personalized videos.

In just two days, the company had 186 personalized, scripted, and quite funny video answers with Mustafa, providing answers to fans' best questions. According to Inc., these videos were viewed nearly 11 million times and Old Spice gained approximately 29,000 new fans on Facebook and 58,000 new Twitter followers.

“We shot personalized miniature TV spots and made them available to customers. And all of that at a lightning-fast pace, "says Jason Bagley, creative director at Wieden + Kennedy and one of the copywriters for the campaign, in an interview with Inc." Actually, no one really expects an answer after a question. I think that was the secret of our success. "

What do we learn from it? If your campaign resonates with fans and followers, then do all you can to keep them hooked. Make sure you stay true to your brand identity and your brand message.

12. Wendy's: Where's the beef?

Is it enough for me to tell you that the only reason this campaign was so successful was because it featured a giant hamburger bun and a couple of lovable grannies? No? I don't even intend to.

Wendy's strategy was quite brave: The burger chain was targeting the competition. The simple sentence “Where's the beef?” Should only indicate that the burgers of the competition had far too little beef. This sentence quickly became symbolic of everything that was missing in the life of the target group.

It's very difficult to predict when a slogan will work and when it won't. In any case, Wendy's (cleverly) refrained from over-promoting their own hit slogan. The campaign only ran for a year and that was just on the side.

The lesson: pay attention to what works and what doesn't with your campaigns. And just because you find out something goes down well, you shouldn't use it over and over until it no longer has any effect. Allow your business to change and grow. This is the only way to discover new strategies with which you can be even more successful in the future.

13. Renault: Resistant baguette as a symbol

In 2005, the advertising agency Nordpol + created a TV commercial for the German market on behalf of the French automobile brand Renault that will certainly not be forgotten anytime soon. Various dishes typical of the country (white sausage, crispbread, sushi) embody Renault's biggest competitors in the spot and compete against each other in the crash test - the winner: the baguette, i.e. Renault.

The aim of the campaign was to highlight the brand's high safety standards. This rather sober topic could be presented in a visually powerful and humorous way by means of food that bursts, crumbles and otherwise failed in slow motion. The commercial was an economic success: Not only did Renault's image flourish in the area of ​​“safety”, significantly more Germans were also considering buying a Renault.

What do we learn from it? Humor and the courage to come up with innovative, new concepts pay off. Don't be afraid to ask the audience for a little bit of interpretation: if the advertising stimulates thought, it stimulates both the mind and the laughing muscles, which makes it all the more memorable and enjoyable for your future customers.

14. Always: "Like A Girl"

In 2014 a very special campaign saw the light of day in marketing: “Like A Girl”, produced for Procter & Gamble, shot by the renowned director Lauren Greenfield. It started with a three-minute video in which young girls and teenagers are asked how they would do certain activities like a girl. The result showed in a touching way that gender-specific prejudices still exist.

Always declared war on them with the “Like A Girl” campaign - and with great success! 3.4 billion impressions, a hashtag shared 133,000 times (#LikeAGirl) and 350,000 shares on Facebook alone - not bad for a brand that actually specializes in sanitary napkins.

Our conclusion: Always managed to identify and take up a social trend at the right time. The target group's desire for more equality and appreciation was identified by marketing and transformed into a strong, emotional message.