We thought we’d kick off 2022 with a look back at some memorable marketing campaigns and throw in a few top tips to help you through the year ahead. It’s also no coincidence that National Marketing Day falls in January!
It can be a very blurred line between marketing and advertising. They’re not strictly speaking one and the same BUT they do need to sit side by side.
Generally speaking, marketing is the squishy bit – getting to know who your audience are, where to find them, what they like (and dislike!). Marketing will also explore different channels – an important role in today’s digital world as it’s easy to forget that not everyone has access to digital technology.
Talking of the digital world, marketing also covers things such as your organic (free) social media presence and networking.
Once you’ve done your marketing homework, you can advertise with confidence, knowing that you’ll get a return on your financial outlay and yes, hit the sweet spot for your target market. Think newspaper campaigns, TV ads and paid-for social media ads.
Right, now we’ve cleared that up, let’s turn our attention to a couple of campaigns that worked for their brands. Be prepared to have your memory jogged!
What do you do when you’re accused of infringing trademark rights by one of the world’s most established retail brands? Well, if you’re Aldi you turn it on its head and stick a very public two fingers up to the lawyers at M&S!
Taking to Twitter, a series of #FreeCuthbert tweets followed and within no time at all Aldi was trending at number one on Twitter and the clash of the caterpillar cakes made headline news across the country. It was covered by BBC Breakfast, Good Morning Britain, and This Morning for several days and generated more than 1,400 pieces of written coverage.
Cuthbert was also the main topic for various TV comedy panel shows; memes, parodies and memorabilia popped up out of nowhere; and hundreds of people joined the debate on numerous social media channels, with user-generated videos chalking up more 30 million hits. There were even protests outside M&S. Aldi estimates the organic reach generated by the campaign equated to more than £5m worth of media spend – and it hadn’t cost them a penny!
According to Aldi’s data, the campaign triggered a 134% drop in M&S’s score for news sentiment, while its score for purchase consideration declined by 2.72%. Meanwhile Aldi’s scores increased by 8.5% and 6.8% respectively. The German discounter also grew its Twitter following by 30%, reached more than 35 million people on Facebook and achieved a 15% engagement rate on social (via Marketing Week).
Aldi has described #FreeCuthbert as its biggest ever news story and the most effective social media campaign in its history.
The campaign culminated in a limited-edition Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake, with all profits going to its charity partner Teenage Cancer Trust. It also encouraged some of its supermarket rivals and their caterpillar cakes to join the #CaterpillarsForCancer cause.
Dove – Every Body Campaign
Hopefully, most of you know by now that the golden nugget of marketing is to know your audience before launching a campaign. When cosmetics brand Dove launched their Every Body campaign they stuck true to their word – and had an instant success on their hands.
Targeting women in the 18-35 age range, who were active on social media and who cared for what products they use on their skin, Dove dispensed with alpha-type size 2 models with perfect skin. Instead, their campaign featured women of all shapes, sizes and ethnicity stripped down to their underwear to encompass “every body”. The absolute antithesis of lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret, whose ad campaigns are full of women who, quite frankly, look like they need a trip to MaccyDs!
Did it shock? Did it get people talking? You bet your sweet life it did!
With so many headlines around body negativity, the Every Body campaign made headline news and was the subject of many articles in the beauty and marketing press. It succeeded in raising body positivity and shamelessly turned its back on super-skinny models.
The lesson? Yes, Dove invested a lot of money in the campaign but by creating the PR buzz – the column inches and the TV coverage, their ROI made it one of the most successful marketing campaigns in Dove’s history.
You’re probably reading this and thinking “that’s all very well and good, but we don’t have the same budget or resources as Aldi or Dove”.
We hear you!
So, how can you create a buzz in your own micro-universe that will get your target audience talking?
- Do something different. What are your competitors doing? Don’t be sheep – stand out from the flock and dare to be different.
- Online – take a look at what’s trending and jump the hell on it! If you get it right, guerrilla marketing can help you to reach an entirely new audience.
- Be authentic. It’s a well-known fact that people buy from people.
- Sending direct mail? Handwrite the envelopes. Tap into someone’s emotional subconscious and make them excited about opening your envelope/package.
- Excel at customer service. Your happy clients will tell their connections what a joy it is to work with you – and before you know it, you’ll be the talk of the town.
Sometimes, it’s impossible to see what’s right in front of you so if you’ve lost your way with your marketing or tend to take a more ad-hoc approach with little ROI, let’s get together for a Brain Pick – it could be the best £99 you’ll ever invest in your business!