Iconic Marketing Campaigns That Stood Out From the Crowd


While we may not like to admit it, we’re all susceptible to the marketing and advertising efforts of companies. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t own many of the products we do today. 


Advertising and marketing executives work hard to create campaigns that are emotive, humorous and memorable, in the hopes that it will encourage us to spend money on their product or service. 


These campaigns pay for many of the things we take for granted. TV shows are paid for by the advertisements that run during commercial breaks, public transport is subsidised by the ads on the sides of buses and inside trains, and social media sites wouldn’t be free if they weren’t funded by sponsored posts and ads on the side of the screen. They work too, ads on Facebook are some of the most effective ways to promote a business.


The best campaigns are ones that make us laugh or feel emotional, stick in our minds, and get us talking. Here are some of those iconic campaigns. 


Apple’s Get a Mac Campaign


The Apple we know today is a giant in the tech industry and one of the wealthiest companies in the world. It wasn’t always the case though. In the 1990s, the company was on the brink of collapse after a string of failed products like the Newton. 


Steve Jobs’ return to the company changed that, launching the iMac in August 1998 followed by other successful products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad. 


By 2006, the company was in a much strong position and was ready to take on its biggest rival, Microsoft. It did this through a series of ads called “Get a Mac” that personified Windows and Mac computers, the former as a boring office worker and the latter as a cool, younger person. 


Apple Macbook PokerStars


These ads ran until 2010 and were a huge success, helping Apple to increase its Mac sales by almost 40%. 


It even spawned a series of parody videos, such as the “iPod vs Zune” and “PS3 vs Wii”. 


PokerStars’ I’M IN Campaign


People have been playing poker and similar games for hundreds of years, but the internet helped to make it more accessible to millions of more players in the 2000s. The game has a widespread appeal that spans generations, social classes, and geographic borders, meaning you could everyone from retired investment bankers and computer programmers to dancers and teachers. 


This was something that PokerStars, one of the world’s biggest online poker platforms, set to celebrate with its I’M IN campaign. The campaign was put together following extensive research among its community of poker players and was designed to demonstrate that the company provides a trusted environment for them to enjoy the game in. PokerStars launched the campaign with a 60 second TV ad, backing it up with a string of shorter ads shown in several key markets and a selection of digital assets used online. 


British Heart Foundation’s Hands-Only CPR Campaign


In 2010, St John Ambulance warned that as many as 150,000 people could be dying each year because they do not receive first aid quickly enough. It highlighted the alarming fact that almost one-quarter of people said they would “do nothing” if they saw someone struggling, either waiting for an ambulance or hoping someone else knew first aid. 


An additional 59% said they would “not feel confident trying to save a life”. 


To combat these shocking statistics, the British Heart Foundation ran an advertising campaign in the UK called “Hands-Only CPR”. 


Featuring Vinnie Jones, a British footballer and actor known for playing hard-nut criminals in his movies, the ad instructed people on how to perform hands-only CPR. 


In the ad Jones says “no kissing…you push hard and fast…to Stayin’ Alive”. Then the Bee Gees song, Stayin’ Alive begins to play while Jones performs chest compressions. 


While talking about a serious subject, the British Heart Foundation was able to create a memorable, humorous ad that would stick in the minds of viewers. 


It worked because the instructions were simple and the song is one that is almost universally recognised. 


Shortly afterwards, the American Heart Association also used the song in its “Keep The Beat” campaign, proving the merits of the song. 

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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