Creating Effective Marketing Campaigns
It is difficult to create and execute a successful marketing campaign without the help of other team members, research and brainstorming. In the aftermath of Bud Light’s most recent controversy, it leaves us scratching our heads wondering, “How did this get approved through all of the company ranks?”
On Tuesday, April 28, Anheuser-Busch stopped production of the Bud Light label reading “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.” Bud Light has been known to have catchy labels on their bottles, promoting singing loud and drinking in your backyard, all under the “Up For Whatever” campaign, which started two years ago.
However, the slogan goes against the national “No Means No” campaign sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, which is intended to promote consent, respect and reduce sexual assault. This Bud Light label goes against what the Association is trying to prevent, given the close links between alcohol consumption and sexual assault.
So what should you keep in mind when thinking about your next marketing campaign for your product or service? There are five things I believe anyone creating a new campaign should consider before launching it for approval.
- Be memorable: Who can forget the words of Isaiah Mustafa, better known as the Old Spice guy, “Look at your man, now back to me, now back to him, now back to me, sadly he isn’t me…” This 2010 P&G campaign, named Smell Like a Man, Man, made a comeback for the brand that used to be known as your grandfather’s aftershave. The commercial had nearly 105 million YouTube views and a 300% increase in traffic to com. Everyone can remember that chiseled man on a horse promoting body wash that was made out made of diamonds.
- Connect with customers by delivering a truthful and powerful message: Nike’s 2012 Find Your Greatness Campaign, launched right before the London Olympics, focused not on being a powerful athlete, but more on trying your best to reach your fitness goals. The most popular commercial associated with the campaign featured a male teen jogging on a country road. He was overweight and not running very fast, but he was striving to achieve his own moment of greatness. That can resonate with people; each of us can achieve success and greatness even though we may consider ourselves not as important or special as professional athletes. It was not the typical Nike campaign, which is why I believe it achieved a 6% increase in Facebook fans and a 77% growth in engagement on its Facebook page; compared to Addidas with 2% and 59%.
- Show how a product or service can fit into consumer’s lives to make them better and happier: Gives You Wings can only be associated with one product, Red Bull. Red Bull does a fantastic job of showing consumers that you can use Red Bull to focus, be awake, alert, party longer and get the job done. Their commercials show different types of people studying for a test, playing basketball, at a music festival, on the slopes and even water rafting. One of these activities can relate with everyone; either they DO these activities or they WANT to do them. Whatever you want to do, Red Bull fits into your life.
- Stand for values beyond the product or service: Dove’s Campaign For Real Beauty is remembered as one of the driving forces to promote self-confidence and help women feel beautiful, regardless of what society dictates as attractive. It featured normal women, stripped down to their underwear with no makeup. It was a relatable and empowering message about owning your body and being yourself. Dove didn’t focus on the products it is trying to sell, but how it values strength, beauty, confidence and love toward yourself.
- Distinguish your brand from all other brands: Beats By Dre had a great Hear What You Want campaign that supported inner strength and believing in yourself. The commercial that launched the campaign featured athlete Kevin Garnett and the pump up track “I’m The Man” by Aloe Blacc, which gave the message to silence negative noise in your life and listen to what motivates you. No other technology has ever branched out to different industries, sent a strong message and compelled consumers to buy a product because they trust a high profile figure in the music industry and one of the most famous athletes of our time.
There you have it! My five marketing campaigns I believe are some of the best since I started studying marketing tactics and strategies in 2010. There will always be new emerging campaigns coming our way throughout the year, but it is very difficult to come up with an idea that will spark a memory the moment you think of the product or service.
As for Bud Light, hopefully we can see past the negativity that the #UpForWhatever campaign has turned into and can get back to associating the classic brew with a puppy and a Clydesdale.