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7 clever marketing campaigns that went down in history

We take a look at some of the best campaigns ever.

IN ORDER TO stand out from the crowd, marketing campaigns need to do something different – speak to a wide range of people, tap into a zeitgeist or just make you laugh.

Over the years there have been many amazing campaigns that stick in our minds – ads that years later you can still remember what product they’re promoting. Whether you can still quote the tagline (‘It’s me, the guy from the bar’) or crack up when you see it replayed, it’s a sign of a great campaign.

Here are seven of the best – let us know your favourite in the comments below.

1. Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

Old Spice / YouTube

This campaign is a great example of how things can go viral. The ad was released in February 2010 and has 51 million views to date. To capitalise on the success, the marketing company, Wieden + Kennedy, created a social media campaign where the ‘Old Spice Guy’ answered readers questions on Facebook and Twitter. These responses got almost another 11 million views.

2. Nike: Just Do It

Nike Celebrates 25 Years of Just Do It Mark J. Miller Mark J. Miller

Back in the day, Nike runners were used mostly by marathon runners. Luckily for them, jogging became a thing and to compete with Reebok, they came up with their ‘Just Do It’ campaign. Sales of Nike went from $880 million to $9.2 billion in ten years – so it seems to have worked.

It’s a measure of how successful a campaign is when you immediately know the brand by three little words.

3. Apple: Get a Mac

EveryAppleAd / YouTube

In Apple’s campaign from 2006 – 2009, they pitted Mac’s simplicity against PCs. It has two actors playing a Mac and a PC and, of course, Mac always outsmarts and out-does the PC and its myriad problems with viruses and freezing etc.

Created by TBWA/Worldwide who are known for doing other massive campaigns for Nissan and Adidas amongst others, it was a great light-hearted way to get Apple’s message across.

4. Dove: Real Beauty campaign

DoveOOH1_900 Cargocollective Cargocollective

Dove’s most recent campaign is focusing on the fact that not all women (gasp) are supermodels.

The campaign encompassed ads across all media showing real women in all their shapes and sizes and aimed to make all women feel good – no matter what they look like. Featuring print ads as well as online video content of real women it ran for six years.

5. Guinness is good for you

GuinnessAds / YouTube

Believe it or not, Guinness has been advertising since 1794 – that’s 222 years. The Guinness Sea Lion ad was its first TV commercial in 1955, although its print ads with the toucans and ‘Lovely day for a Guinness’ were making their mark even before that.

Since then there’s been many classic Guinness ads from the Tom Crean ad to the ‘To Arthur’ ad, they’re always memorable - and even have Michael Fassbender in one.

6. Always: Like A Girl

Always / YouTube

Similar to the Dove campaign, Always ‘Like A Girl’ is seeking to change minds across the world about what it means to be a girl and a woman.

Turning ‘like a girl’ from an insult into a sign of strength and showing how girls lose confidence at puberty, and tend to stop playing sport amongst other things, the campaign has had follow-up ads, which shows its success in getting the message across.

7. Budweiser: Wassup

zammo69 / YouTube

Like it or loathe it this ad took over the world there for a while, even making its way into movies and tv shows (Ross used it in Friends for example).

It started as a Super Bowl commercial (where ad agencies spend millions to get a spot and unleash their latest work) and it quickly made its way around the world.

What’s your favourite advertising campaign? Let us know in the comments below.

If you’re interested in getting into marketing as a career, head over to NCI and check out their MSc in Marketing. NCI are holding an open day on 24 August from 5-7pm and 27 August 11-2pm, so you can find out everything you need to know there

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