12 Days of Christmas … 7 examples of the best marketing from this year

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7 of the best marketing examples this year

2015 has been another fantastic year for marketing. With huge steps forward in the avenues we advertise on, and the way we advertise. We only thought it right to take a look at just a few of the best marketing campaigns this year. And what your own business may be able to take from it.

Aldi

Aldi have done wonders for their brand the last few years and 2015 was no exception. It saw their ‘favourite things’ campaign go live. Their spoof of the John Lewis Christmas ad gain more popularity than the original ad itself. And they were awarded Which? Brand of the year. Phew they have been busy!

So what has made their marketing so great this year? Their persistent adverts for their ‘favourite things’ campaign has successfully shown that customers do not need to sacrifice quality for lower priced goods. Their humorous ads show that though you may like brands, you might like their products too, and with it being a much lower price, why not try it?

It seems to be working for them too! With them doubling their share in the British grocery market over the last 3 years.

Aldi is successfully changing its brand from ‘cheap, unheard of food’ to ‘quality products at prices for the savvy shopper’. Which is proven by Which? crowning them the brand of the year. Which we think may have given them an ego boost to take on the mighty John Lewis in the advert stakes.

John Lewis’s Christmas ad is hugely anticipated every year, with 2015 being no different. Once the advert had gone live, Aldi wasted no time in filming a spoof for their own products. Which has gained huge praise (and column inches) for the brand. Their advert works, not only by newsjacking the John Lewis advert, but by working towards their customers personas, of wanting good quality but at a cheaper price.

 

Carlsberg

Carlsberg have paid homage to their old tagline of “If Carlsberg did…” by creating ‘probably the best poster in the world’.

The marketing stunt saw a poster that dispensed free beer to eager passers-by. In a stunt which not only engaged potential customers, but left them with a smile on their face too.

By taking a slightly different approach to the very traditional billboard ad, they had queues down the street. And definitely got people (and papers) talking about their brand. Sending more people down to the poster to grab a Carlsberg, and then go home and tell their friends and family all about it.

Carlsberg didn’t just market themselves. They created a ‘moment’ that people wanted to be part of. By focusing the excitement on a limited amount of time, they were able to achieve fantastic results at a rapid rate.

Sometimes taking a traditional method of marketing and changing aspects of it can really work for a brand and get people talking. However, be careful to ‘work outside the box’ for the sake of ‘working outside the box’. There should still be careful planning and a genuine benefit for your brand. Also this marketing stunt had worked well for Carlsberg as it is part of a bigger campaign. If you are considering a marketing event, really think carefully of the best time to launch the event for maximum impact.

 

Coke

Coke have always paid a lot of attention to their marketing and this year was no exception. Though they faced a different challenge this year. Trying to fit their products into a modern day society. With sugary drinks making headlines frequently this year, Coke have paid more attention on their less sugary drinks like diet coke and coke zero. Also releasing coke life, to cover even more people’s tastes.

The only problem being that with so many different drinks, they may have struggled to send a unified message. A problem that many companies would face when trying to expand their services or products. Coke has done really well to combine these into the ‘choose happiness’ campaign. Which means that whichever one of your products you pick, as long as it makes you happy, that’s okay. This doesn’t penalise any of the customers. The company don’t have to drop any of their products, or have separate marketing budgets. Meaning it works out a well rounded, successful campaign.

What can us slightly smaller companies take from this? Sometimes even if you are known for a product, or service, and have been for years, you can still diversify and offer products that reflect a modern world without it completely distracting from your brand.

 

Facebook

You may think why a huge brand like Facebook needs to market at all. Everyone has heard of Facebook. But every business needs to look towards growth. With almost all of their ideal audience already signed up to their most prominent platform, they have had to think of a different route.

Facebook turned to tv advertising. Which may seem strange for an online service, but is a move that seemed to work well for google the last few years. So, with a focus on ‘our friends’ Facebook showed across a number of adverts. To prove that it really is a vital part of friendship in a modern world.

It got people excited about Facebook again, and timed with an update from Facebook that showed your memories from previous years. It got people re-posting content, and reminiscing on times gone by. All documented and shared by their favourite platform Facebook.

And what can we take from this? You are never, ever too big, or too successful to stop marketing. As seen by a number of examples on here, no matter what the size of your company, marketing is essential to keep you in front of your competitors. Though you might be on top now, if you don’t have a solid plan for your marketing, you may not still be number one tomorrow.

We would love to offer you a preview of the ad, but it has since been removed from Youtube.

Nutella

Nutella have been a well placed brand for some time now. But as we have seen, with any company, you sometimes need to boost your marketing to ensure sales keep coming in.

This year Nutella looked to build strategic allainces with a number of companies, to push both of their products being sold together. Not an original plan by any means. But one that has been proven to work, and Nutella have implemented very successfully. Add in the excitement of pop up restaurants and limited availability on some products. Very similar to what we saw with Carlsberg. And the customers come in thick and fast.

Nutella have also launched their personalised jar’s just in time for Christmas. Perhaps taking inspiration from Coke’s last campaign, where you could find your name on their bottles. Nutella are allowing anyone to put their name on to a jar of Nutella, so they can claim it for their own. Perfect for bigger families with sibling rivalry, or that real Nutella lover who needs an extra stocking filler this Christmas. This works really well, as people love to personalise, and get extra for nothing really.

This is a tactic that obviously works well, with people going mad to get their name on something they love. However this is also not a cheap campaign to run, so if you are considering something like this, be clear on your budgets beforehand, and your expected reach.

Dove

Dove have been working on a bigger picture goal with their last few campaigns, focusing on the tagline ‘real beauty’ and putting forward a different concept of beauty to what is normally seen on TV ads.

This year they looked at the ‘choose beautiful’ campaign, which focused mainly around one of their adverts, where women were asked to walk through one of two doors. One door said average and the other said beautiful. The advert sees women struggle to decide which door they would walk through.

This works because it is putting the power back into the consumer’s hands. Rather than saying, to buy our product you need to look like this, it is saying you feel however you want to feel, and if you want to feel beautiful, then that’s what you should feel, and we’re going to help you feel good, whatever you size, shape or complexion.

We’ve talked before about selling the solution, rather than your product. But Dove have gone a step further, and are not even offering a ‘solution’, they are offering an ‘option’, which consumers love.

Humans on Channel 4

This is probably the least known on the list, but a genius example of marketing. Humans was a new channel 4 show, that didn’t market itself as a show.

For those who haven’t seen it, Humans is based in the not too distant future where ‘synths’ synthetic humans are common place in the home, and are manufactured by persona synthetics. Rather than advertising a programme, channel 4 ran adverts for persona synthetics, with a matching website and even an ebay listing for a synth. This made people (myself included!) want to know more, anything more, which meant website visits, social mentions and content searches went through the roof.

Over time, more and more information was revealed until it came to light that it was a TV show. By that time, there was already a buzz about the show before it had even really begun to advertise.

This works because it irritates viewers. Yes you read that right. By not passing on the full information, it creates a sense of intrigue of what is to follow. Obviously this only works when done well, and normally within the ‘brand awareness’ stage of your marketing. If you were to do this with your product when it is released, you may not be doing it justice. But to create hype, intrigue, and getting people to keep a close eye for what’s coming next, this worked perfectly.

 

 

Summary

As can be seen, there are many different ways to advertise, but one of the biggest themes this year was putting the power back into the consumers hands. By having taglines like ‘choose happiness’ or choose beautiful’ you’re not forcing anything on the consumer, they know they still have a choice. With Aldi’s adverts they are saying you could choose your brand, but you can also choose a cheaper version if you want, and that’s okay. This is definitely a time of change with marketing, with more and more brands looking at the ‘inbound’ approach, where the consumers are in control rather than the companies, and by changing that focus, customers may come to respect them more than brands who maybe still ‘tell’ them what to do.

Have we missed something from our list? What’s the best marketing you’ve seen this year?

Take a look at the rest of our countdown to the 12 days of Christmas, for more advice, how to’s and examples of marketing during this festive season.

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