Best Marketing Campaigns from around the World

There are brands that do a bit of marketing. Then there’s marketing that makes brands. Today, I’m going to rave about the second kind.

In this collection, I’ll feature some of the best brand activation stunts we’ve come across. They go above & beyond in giving the audience a personalized experience and loads of value, which is why the product is remembered long after the campaign is over.

Prepare to be dazzled, inspired, and educated by these case studies on Marketing done right.


Orchestra Burger ~ McDonald’s

  • Agency: TBWA/NEBOKO
  • Year: 2017 for McDonald’s Netherlands

This brand activation campaign has left us drooling for more. What a way to introduce a new product. Hats off to the creators behind it

  • Focuses on the key experience that the burger stands for, which is the premium feeling of royalty and special treatment.
  • Chooses to engage with customers one by one and not all at once, making the campaign truly memorable for a lifetime!
  • Creatively uses the same setting where customers will actually be eating the burger – transforming a normal @mcdonaldsnl outlet into a grand orchestra house!

Scrabble Wifi ~ Hasbro

  • Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Paris
  • Year: 2013 for Scrabble

You’ve probably heard the concept of “gamification” in business school, but if you want a practical example of how it’s done to activate brands, this highly interactive campaign by O&M Paris is perfect!

  • It utilizes a simple but fun challenge along with an enticing reward to attract customers to play
  • Captures an untapped market in public spaces + solves a genuine pain point
  • Propagates the core value of the product (vocabulary & word knowledge) into the campaign

Basically, it just proves that knowing more words can literally get you free stuff in life (in this case, wifi). That’s the whole point of the product, so we think this campaign is bang-on!


Noise-o-Meter ~ Bose

  • Agency: Wunderman Thompson Dubai
  • Year: 2021 for Bose Headphones

Like a jingle, this one’s going to be stuck in our heads for a while. We love the campaign because:

  • Empathy: It shows awareness about the troubles or pain points that customers are going through during COVID-19 and the Work-From-Home routine
  • Pricing: It chooses to try a rarely used technique called “empathetic pricing,” in which you understand your users’ situation & set the price accordingly. This P is often ignored in the 4Ps mix
  • Value Proposition: It perfectly integrates the value of the noise-canceling product into the storyline & purpose of the campaign. After all, if you’re in a really noisy work environment, you need Bose headphones the most, so you get to claim the biggest discount!

We’re amazed by the level of creativity and the seamless execution here. How does one even begin to conceptualize an initiative that’s so thoughtful yet so simple?


Offline Hour ~ Pizza Hut

  • Agency: M&C Saatchi UAE
  • Year: 2019 for Pizza Hut Meta

This is perhaps the most technologically advanced campaign on the list. It shows great awareness & research on the problem it is tackling and uses an interesting challenge to get people to make a good decision that benefits everybody.

Boasting a clear reward and sublime execution from start to finish, it surely deserved all the media mentions & awards the creators received.


The Bapu Reminder ~ Tata Salt

  • Creator: In-house marketing team
  • Year: 2019 for Tata Salt India

This is a brilliant “alive OOH” campaign that managed to stop passersby in their tracks and deliver an effective message that is in line with the brand’s overall mission of national prosperity.

It works because:

  • There’s a clear trigger to draw attention to the billboard (Gandhiji’s voice)
  • It uses IoT-based digital technology to track movement and respond to engaged viewers
  • There’s a timely brand activation element at play as this was released on Mahatma Jayanti

Interactive billboards like this one are hard to find in India but popular in the US, so it’s good to see a brand trying out something innovative for our local market.


Smoking Kid ~ Thai Health Promotion

  • Year: 2012
  • Agency: Ogilvy for Thai Health Promotion Foundation

Most anti-smoking awareness campaigns contain graphic images of cancer victims that do not really impact smokers as the repeated exposure has normalized such messages to the point that people no longer care. This campaign re-triggers emotions by introducing a wildcard in the mix – a kid!

Would you allow your kid to smoke? If you won’t, then why do you continue pursuing the bad habit. This was the tough question pedestrians were faced with, which is why it drove such a strong impact. The campaign is brilliant because:

  • It’s low budget. All you need is two child actors. Makes the best use of resources
  • It hits the spot hard – bringing kids into an issue always stirs up hot emotions in people’s brains
  • It ends with a useful & simple CTA, offering help to smokers by giving them a hotline to call

Perhaps this is why it will go down in history as the best anti-smoking campaign ever. This case study shows us that brilliance actually lies in simplicity.


Voice Doodler ~ Wyeth Illuma

  • Year: 2021
  • Agency: Ogilvy for Wyeth Illuma

This campaign actually recognizes a problem that its target audience (kids & parents) might be facing, and provides a meaningful tool to help them resolve it.

What I like about the app they’ve built is that it not just leverages technology brilliantly but helps in the personal growth of the users. I like the small touch they’ve added for ensuring sales from the initiative (ROI) – it seems parents can only activate the app by purchasing a can/box of the nutrition product.


The Sound Penalty ~ Paradiso FM

  • Year: 2017
  • Agency: 3yz for Radio SulAmérica Paradiso FM

Brands always wonder what to do with consumer insights, so this campaign is a perfect case study of how you can make a real social impact by tapping into people’s behaviors.

This initiative works because:

  • It understands how drivers behave while using the product – their timing, patterns, and related social issues that come with the app usage
  • It uses simple geo-tracking technology to derive an insight no one would’ve thought of using for their app, which is the driver’s car speed.
  • It offers a clear punishment for breaking the rules (which would also cause harm to many lives), thus influencing or nudging user behavior in the right direction.

I also loved how the ad video actually showed us the campaign in action from a driver’s perspective, which really “drives” the intended social message (pun intended).


Conclusion

So that concludes our list of some cool marketing campaigns from around the world. Which one did you enjoy the most and why? Did we miss any noteworthy case studies? Do you think stuff like this makes a difference for the business at all?

Share your thoughts & suggestions in the comments.

Published by Manik Rege

Into Writing | Marketing | Leadership | Animal Rights ... and occassionally, coffee. Tweet to me @manik_rege.

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