In today’s world, everywhere you look, we are bombarded by ads. From mobile banners to highway billboards, the average person is exposed to 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day.
What advertisements have stuck with you through the years? Perhaps a fateful Super Bowl advert from Apple back in 1984 got you talking about the brand's latest innovations, or maybe you know exactly how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
In the world of marketing, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating the next history-making campaign. However, there are commonalities in what works and what doesn’t. These are a few of the characteristics we repeatedly see in attention-grabbing campaigns that keep users clicking for more.
- Be Memorable
Despite stirring up its share of controversy, Red Bull has done a great job of keeping consumers buzzing! Red Bull’s marketing, much like the brand itself, does everything to the extreme – including its advertising campaigns that feature wild stunts like skydiving or flying in a wingsuit. Red Bull burst into a fresh market at a time before energy drinks were filling the aisles of every grocery store and took a different approach to its marketing efforts.
The brand literally went to where its target audience (primarily teenage and young adult males) was, like college parties, libraries, and coffee shops. It buttoned up this strategy with a slogan that definitely resonated with consumers, “Red Bull Gives You Wings.” Catchy, fun, and in your face, it became hard not to say Red Bull without including its memorable catchphrase.
(Fun fact: in 2014, a class action lawsuit was filed against the brand for the false claim that the drink did not, in fact, give you wings. Red Bull agreed to pay $13M to consumers in the US that had purchased its drinks in the past decade — which resulted in a whopping $10 per person. Despite the lawsuit, Red Bull continues to use this slogan to this day.)
Regardless of the negative attention, it goes without saying that other brands could learn from Red Bull’s strategy. Don’t underestimate the power of creative. Utilize eye-catching imagery and concise, easy-to-understand messaging to tell a coherent story. Then determine the appropriate vehicle to deliver that creative to the right consumer at the right time to make a lasting impression. Variation is key to avoiding ad fatigue but throughout your different initiatives and applications, remember to stay true to who you are.2. Get Emotional
When using "emotional marketing," brands can connect with consumers on a deeper level. And that’s not all it can do; emotional marketing can double purchase intent as well. Whether you’re looking to make your audience laugh, cry, or even take an absurdist route to create confusion and spark curiosity, however you approach it, make the user feel something and make that feeling last.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, brands quickly pivoted their messaging and strategy to create more meaningful, heartfelt, and uplifting experiences for customers – and Coca-Cola definitely did it right. Dropping its iconic can design and replacing it with a series of resolutions, Coca-Cola encouraged people to reflect on the unprecedented events of 2020 with a positive outlook ahead.
Consumers were also encouraged to go online and customize their own cans with messages for their friends and loved ones; consumers shared these messages on social media to inspire others with the hashtag #opentobetter. As people around the globe felt more and more distant from the ones they care about, Coca-Cola found a way to bring them together.3. Be Unique
The most exceptional campaigns are those that take a differentiated creative approach to advertising. By crafting a unique brand narrative, you can cut through the noise of endless advertisements to capture the attention of your targeted audience. But be prepared; being unique means stepping outside your comfort zone and taking risks. And just like any risk, not every attempt is going to be a home run, but when done right, the dividends could be huge.
Take, for example, Reddit. Reddit took a big swing during the Super Bowl with a quick 5-second ad that appeared almost like a glitch in the programming, briefly splashing brand imagery between generic videos of horses and cars. The bite-sized “blip” ad sparked such curiosity that it drove Super Bowl audiences to social media en masse, as they sought to understand if that was, in fact, a programming error. Ranked the most talked about commercial of the game, Reddit was able to steal the spotlight from tried and true Super Bowl advertisers, cementing the brand in the annals of advertising history – and in under ten seconds, no less.4. Listen to Your Customer
While plenty of brands think they listen to their audiences, many continue to make the same mistakes, ultimately pushing consumers into the carts of the competition. Customer feedback is invaluable, and any savvy marketer should keep that in mind when launching an advertising campaign.
Old Navy did a knockout job of demonstrating this with its Bodequality campaign. The average American woman wears size 16-18 jeans, yet retail has labeled these millions of consumers as “plus size,” often relegated to a separate department located in the back of the store. Body positivity is a powerful mental state and the important psychological elements that make shopping a social, enjoyable activity for everyone have for far too long been ignored by retailers.
With a pulse and an ear on its customer base, Old Navy set out to completely realign its brand to be more inclusive of all sizes, extending these efforts beyond the walls of its marketing initiatives. The Bodequality campaign represented a full customer experience overhaul. Ridding all of its stores of its plus-size section entirely, both in-store and online and closing the price gap between the different size groups, Old Navy broke the mold, creating a more inclusive approach to shopping.5. Be Real
Consumers are voting with their wallets now more than ever, supporting brands that share similar values to their own. Companies that have taken a personable approach, whether through championing causes or reevaluating their business strategy, have come out ahead.
Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign launched in 2004 when the brand realized that women were becoming increasingly unhappy with their bodies and how they felt about themselves. Further findings showed that they were also dissatisfied with the standard product offerings lining the shelves of their local beauty aisle.
The Real Beauty campaign challenged the negative stereotypes established by the beauty industry over many years, which are perpetuated in everyday media. Models of all shapes and sizes and actual Dove users shared messages of hope and self-confidence and were photographed without any heavy retouching. The campaign was a huge success; not only did they see a jump in revenue, but brand perception improved greatly, with more consumers associating positivity and honesty with the Dove brand.
We’re Here To Help You Grow
On any given day, you’ll see thousands of ads, but how many of them will you remember? If someone stopped you on the street and asked what brands were marketed to you today would you be able to list even two of them? The aforementioned campaigns are a great example of how brands have used real stories, people, and eye-catching imagery and messaging to stay top-of-mind and grow their business.
Start standing out from the crowd with the help of our award-winning design team! Thanks to creative science, Kargo’s mobile-first creatives, compared to standard banners, are seen by 70% more people, are viewed 2x longer, and can be built direct or programmatically.
Want to learn more about how to create thumb-stopping ads? Reach out to our team of experts and start optimizing your ads today!