December 04, 2019

The Best and Worst Marketing Campaigns

By Sona Mathews
As 2019 draws to a close, it’s a good time to look back and reflect on the highs and lows of the year. There were certainly some highs and lows when it came to marketing campaigns: this year we saw some creative, innovative campaigns which took risks while still hitting the mark.

The Best and Worst Marketing Campaigns of 2019: eAskme
The Best and Worst Marketing Campaigns of 2019: eAskme

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And then there were the ones that, let’s just say, did not.

Here is a wrap-up of the best and worst marketing campaigns of 2019.

Best: IKEA Catalogue Goes Social

IKEA’s social media-based catalogue is notable for a few reasons.

First of all, IKEA’s old-style print catalogue, delivered to letterboxes all over the world used to be a big part of their business model, and something which was closely identified with the brand.

So when the Swedish furniture giant decided to move its catalogue over to Pinterest, this was a big step and could have gone horribly wrong.

However, IKEA handled this transition extremely well and was rewarded as a result.

They created a shoppable version of the catalogue which was available through Pinterest, this giving it a longer life and extending the time customers could access it.

They also used clever features for extra engagement such as a product questionnaire built into Pinterest, making this so much more than just a digital catalogue.

Worst: Miele’s International Women’s Day Faux Pas

German appliance company Miele decided to mark International Women’s Day with an ad campaign “celebrating” women.

The campaign involved a series of ads featuring pictures of female models posing with their products.

This may seem appropriate, however, this series of ads with women celebrating their washing machines and kitchen appliances was widely and immediately criticised as sexist, dated and celebrating the traditional 1950’s image of women only having a place in the home.

The campaign received such as negative backlash in fact that the ads were pulled just a few hours after being posted.

The key message here for brands like Miele is that they should be extremely careful when it comes to any topics relating to discrimination, whether gender, race, sexuality, or indeed any other hot-button topics.

These topics need to be handled very carefully, or perhaps better to steer clearly of them altogether.

Best: Pepsi Proves They’re More Than OK

Pepsi executed a very successful campaign which demonstrated a clever combination of traditional advertising and influencer marketing with their #PepsiMoreThanOK campaign.

The campaign launched with a Superbowl commercial featuring comedy and music superstars Steve Carrell, Cardi B. and Lil Jon professing that Pepsi is more than ok, a reference to the long-running competition between the soft drink giant and their rival Coca Cola.

The brand then leveraged this message using paid social media posts from celebrity influencers, who included Jay Pharoah.

They combined this with user engagement, encouraging viewers to share #PepsiSweepstakesOK whenever they heard the word “OK” during the Superbowl or its commercials, and go into the draw to win prizes.

This was a winning mix of high-profile advertising, social media engagement and influencer marketing which got great results.

Worst:MoneySupermarket Stresses Consumers With Their “Calm” Video

MoneySupermarket, a UK price comparison website for financial service products, released this video as part of their launch and rebranding in 2019.

Unfortunately, the message they were trying to promote – that using their service will bring calm to your life was somewhat lost thanks to the highly stress-inducing first section of the video.

No doubt the marketers were trying to present the class problem then solution advertising technique, but they forgot one key thing: viewers don’t watch videos the same way as they used to.

Rather than sitting in front of a television or similar, users are now watching them on websites, stream services or other mediums where they can click away part way through the video.

Thanks to our short attention spans, this means majority of users do not watch the entirety of videos, clicking away, sometimes after the first few seconds, in this case only seeing the stressful scenario, and not the solution.

The lesson here:
video marketing is a new and emerging area, and one that more and more brands are using, because it is being shown to resonate very strongly with consumers.

However, as they do so, they need to learn the nuances of this very specific form of marketing.

One of these is, when watching a video, people respond most to how it makes them feel.

This video may have tried to say one thing, but it made people feel something else, and so completely missed the mark.

Perhaps they should have stuck to more traditional marketing tactics such as trade show booths instead.

Best: Corona Lets Customers Pay With Plastic

One of the most innovative campaigns of 2019 wasn’t to do with the latest technology, but actually was a fairly solidly offline affair based on physical brand presence.

However, Corona’s “Pay with plastic” campaign is thoroughly modern in that it relates to a very topical issue: plastic pollution and in particular the impacts it has on the ocean.

The Mexican beer giant collaborated with the environmental organization Parley for the Oceans to launch a global campaign during Week of World Oceans.

They placed recycling machines in various locations across Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Italy and Spain, which consumers could use to get a beer in exchange for plastic bottles.

What’s more, Corona and Parley committed to cleaning one square meter of local beaches for every purchase.

A brilliant way to use values and awareness-raising to associate their brand with something positive!

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