Marketing Campaigns that stole the show in 2018

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A relatable, fresh and innovative marketing campaign, executed seamlessly, has the power to evoke strong emotions. It inspires, educates, entertains and attracts the audience to a brand like nothing else can.

The Surge of platforms, channels and tech has given brands multiple ways to connect to their audiences. There’s no better time than now to rally different tribes and call out to them with content that truly connects with them. Campaigns can do just that! In 2018, we witnessed many such efforts. Following are some of the highlights -

With an increase in the number of emerging channels, touchpoints, and technologies available to brands today, there has never been a better scope for innovative, impactful campaigns.

From a divisive stand against racism to a fake name change, we look at some of 2018’s most hard-hitting and memorable campaigns.

1. ‘In it Together’ by LinkedIn
LinkedIn connects white-collar exec’s - the platform attracts professionals from IT, finance, and software development. Meanwhile, there are millions of other independent professionals in areas like creative arts, fitness and sciences which are more active on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. They believe in building their fan bases on such platforms and are less aware of LinkedIn’s role.

LinkedIn’s 2018 marketing campaign, “In It Together” made its debut on the Golden Globes with an intention to tell stories of “different versions of success.” It encouraged self-employed creative professionals to join the platform and make the most out of the connectivity that the brand offers.

The campaign shifted the focus from the site’s capabilities to their audience. The videos were shot in a raw, documentary format, showcasing professionals from a wide variety of fields, telling their stories.

LinkedIn’s message was clear; no matter “why you work hard?” or “what your goals are?”, you have a community in our platform - “Whatever you’re in it for, we’re in it together.”

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2. ‘Alexa has lost her voice’ by Amazon
A recent marketing study suggests that around 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their fellow peers in buying decisions. YouTube is the second most influential social media platform for the same.

Influencer marketing coupled with compelling and creative video content can boost brand and product awareness significantly.
Amazon used this strategy and combined their cutting-edge Alexa-powered voice assistant, the Echo, with video content featuring world-renowned celebrities from different fields, from comedy to cooking, from Cardi B to Gordon Ramsey.

The ‘Alexa Has Lost Her Voice’ campaign initially aired at the Superbowl 2018. It was not only funny and superbly creative, but it used influencers in a way that placed the benefits of Jeff’s product at the heart of the campaign. It proved conclusively that nobody could ever replace Alexa.

Not only did the video campaign earn over 47 million views as a result of its originality, but also cemented the value of influencer marketing.

3. ‘Save the Species’ by Lacoste
“Make the logo bigger!” the brands cry. Rarely do they ask to make it disappear.

But that’s precisely what Lacoste did. To support the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), and BETC Paris, the brand sidelined their iconic grinning crocodile logo to make way for species that could use the visibility more.

The campaign is a 3-year partnership between Lacoste and IUCN that highlights 10 endangered species which individually appear in a series of limited-edition polos.

The number of shirts available with each logo corresponds to the number of animals of each species that remain. A total of 1,775 shirts were made, including 30 with Vaquitas, 450 with the Anegada Rock Iguana and more.

The crocodile has graced the Lacoste’s polos for 85 years. It is a homage to their founder René Lacoste, who was known as “The Crocodile” because of his persistence on the tennis court. The “Save the Species” campaign marks the first time when the brand has initiated a logo change.

The shirts launched during Lacoste’s runway show at Paris and the 10 species featured were hand-picked by the IUCN, Lacoste and BETC. The brand created the logos using the same craftsmanship and embroidery approach used for the crocodile.

The shirts were priced at 150€ and each sale goes towards the preservation of its species.

4. ‘Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.’
- Nike
Nike sparked controversy when it revealed their ad starring NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. For those who don’t know Kaepernick, he is a divisive figure in the US. An equal number of people support and criticise his decision to kneel during the national anthem in protest to racial injustice. His inclusion in the 30th-anniversary campaign for Nike’s similarly has split opinion. People supported the ad. People burned Nike shoes.

The two-minute commercial includes famous athletes and highlights the controversy of NFL players protesting against the racial inequality, police brutality and other issues by kneeling during the national anthem.

Nike stuck to its guns and told that they are “very proud” of the campaign since it features “inspiring athletes” including tennis star Serena Williams, American footballers Odell Beckham Jr, skateboarder Lacey Baker, with Kaepernick. It also claimed that the campaign drove “record engagement” both socially and commercially.

5. ‘IHOB’ by IHOP
The buzz started when IHOP suddenly changed its name to IHOB which lead to week-long anticipation of what the 'B' stood for. People made guesses from bitcoin to Beyoncé.

Plenty of people on Twitter ex­press­ed doubt that whether the name change was real, and CNN re­port­ed a sus­pi­cious lack of pa­per trail that would in­di­cate an of­fi­cial name change.

The com­pany later con­firmed that the name change was a “tongue-in-cheek” pro­mo­tion for their sum­mer bur­ger menu.

(IHOP Tweet that its a fake)IHOP isn’t the only company to pull a fake stunt to gar­ner at­ten­tion. What looked like a pre­view for the new Crocodile Dun­dee mov­ie turned out to be the ad­ver­tise­ment for Tour­ism Aus­tral­ia that ran dur­ing the Su­per Bowl this year. View­ers, how­ever, were told that it’s a joke un a little more than one min­ute into the com­mer­cial. But for the other cam­paigns, the fake ad u­su­al­ly con­sisted of a one-off vid­e­o or pro­mo­tion. Not in history has a com­pany com­mit­ted to a fake rebranding that last­ed an en­tire month.
Social Media is an excellent place to experiment with new campaign styles and, if you’re smart about it, you can tap undiscovered audiences just like these five stand out brands. Curious about what 2019 brings with it? We are too!

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