You would be surprised to find out that habits, attitudes, and opinions we consider very common or natural are owed to brilliant minds in the advertising world. Successful advertising campaigns shape the world we live in and we could not imagine everyday life without many of the products they promote. But let’s not waste words and remember or become acquainted with some of the biggest advertising campaigns in history:
1. Nike – Just Do It
There was a time when Nike only targeted marathon runners; things changed when the fitness craze emerged and the well-known sportswear company had a marketing department smart enough to seize the opportunity. “The Just Do It” campaign was launched in late 1980s and the slogan became a trademark of the shoe company and one of its core brand components. Apparently, at an advertising agency meeting in 1988, Gary Gilmore’s last words were “Let’s do it”, and the well-known slogan was developed after his says. The effects of the “Just Do It” campaign were extraordinary – Nike worldwide sales climbed from $877 million to $9.2 billion in a decade, and they expanded their share of the North American domestic sport shoe market from 18% to 43%. The reason why the slogan worked so well it was the fact it managed to encapsulate what every person feels when they are exercising – that an objective such as running 5 miles is hard, but on the other hand, you can choose not to think about it and just do it.
2. Dove Campaign For Real Beauty
For decades, the cosmetic industry has put pressure on consumers by using a certain type of models for advertisements and promotional materials. Meanwhile, they were targeting average people who have a variety of physical features and who may not fit the beauty standards followed by these companies. As a result, vulnerable categories such as teenagers, but not only, are subjected to a standard body image and end up feeling unhappy with their appearance. In 2004, Unilever launched the Campaign For Real Beauty through Dove; the creative was conceived by Ogilvy & Mather Düsseldorf and London. The campaign was intended for three years, but it was so successful that it still runs today. The main idea is simple – we all have different bodies that do not fit beauty standards, and yet we are beautiful. Dove was applauded for the audacity to challenge the social norm and experts considered this campaign has left a mark on human society.
3. Got Milk?
Are you a regular consumer of cow’s milk? Then your taste for milk may also be due to this famous advertising campaign from 1993, which was created by the advertising agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners for the California Milk Processor Board. Later, the campaign was licensed for use by dairy farmers and milk processors. One of the best-known motives of the campaign was the white moustache, which was eventually discontinued in 2014. An interesting fact about this campaign is that it didn’t try to sell to people who were not drinking milk, but instead it targeted those who already were, showing what amazing results can be obtained by focusing on existent consumers and determining them to appreciate your product more. The result? Milk sales in California rose by 7% in one year, and parodies inspired by “Got milk?” are still considered funny today.
4. Absolut Vodka
Absolut Vodka is a brand of vodka produced in Sweden and the third largest brand of alcoholic spirits in the world. The shape of the Absolut Vodka bottle is nothing unusual, and yet it is one of the most recognizable in the world, after the “In An Absolut World” campaign. The campaign has been running for 25 years and has helped the brand grow from a 2.5% share of the vodka market to representing half of all imported vodka in the US. Absolut has created 1500 ads of one bottle – in each ad, the shape of the bottle appears in different settings, specific to various places in the world. For instance, Absolut New York features a bottle made from a number of yellow cabs in the crowded Big Apple traffic.
5. The Marlboro Man
The Marlboro Man is one of the longest running campaigns – it was used by the Marlboro brand in the United States from 1954 to 1999. The legendary figure was conceived by Leo Burnett in 1954 – a rugged man featured in nature with a cigarette. The original purpose of the advertisements was to make filtered cigarettes more popular – until then, these products were considered feminine. The ad managed to reposition Marlboro as a brand for men instead of selling women’s cigarettes and was also influenced by the impression that filtered cigarettes were safer for health. Years later, the long-term effects of smoking were discovered, and ironically, the majority of men who have portrayed the Marlboro Man have died of lung diseases associated with smoking. The decline of the advertising campaign started in the 2000s, as the practice of smoking ceased to be celebrated due to health risks.
Which of these advertising campaigns are you familiar with and what impact did they have on your life?