Content creation has certainly changed as of late. Years ago content was produced at rapid speeds and was not that high in quality either. A typical blog post was written by a writer who was either just entering into the field of writing and getting their feet wet or someone simply looking to make a few extra dollars.
Content farms were quite popular and did not, sad to say, pay very well. However, that is where many a web writer got their experience in the beginning. Now, however, content is king and queen and practically the whole court. Content rules nowadays.
Culture is a complex thing to analyze. It’s comprised by lots of major and minor factors, it changes both predictively and unpredictably and it can even seem contradictory. It involves all the people in the world, their languages, their actions, their art and, of course, their businesses. The modern world wouldn’t be remotely similar if it weren’t for the way people organize around work. And, in that sense, companies have become an actor for change, even if that change isn’t that good.
Among the many challenges marketers had to face with the rise of digital marketing, the connection between online and offline marketing has proven to be one of the most enduring. From uneven strategies to absurd and contradictory online and offline campaigns, many companies still struggle to get the hang of it and still fail to see both channels as a part of a bigger campaign.
Many marketers believe that the best marketing campaigns are the ones capable of convincing their target audience to buy the advertised product or service. They feel that the ultimate goal of any marketing campaign is to sell. And though they aren’t that far off, thinking like this leaves out some factors that differentiate good advertisement from the best advertisement.
If you take a look at the ads considered to be revolutionary, there is an extra thing that made them that way: they don’t just sell, they point to a new way of communication, offering new symbols and shaping the world we live in. To illustrate this a little bit, here’s a list of 10 marketing campaigns that changed the world while making millions for their brands.
1 – 1947 – De Beers – A Diamond is Forever
If diamonds have the status they enjoy today, it’s entirely because of De Beers and this campaign. By 1938, the diamond company was looking for new ways to boost its decreasing sales. People started to think that diamonds were just a deluxe piece of snobbery and refused to buy them. That’s why the company hired the NW Ayer ad agency: to find a way to appeal to all Americans, regardless of their social status.
The agency worked hard until it hit gold in 1947, the year in which creative Frances Gerety suggested to use the now famous “A diamond is Forever” slogan. The agency wasn’t too crazy about it but given that there were no better alternatives, they went with it in their newest campaign. American people quickly began making a connection between the gemstones with the everlasting nature of love. The rest, as they say, it’s history.
2 – 1954 – The Marlboro Man
One of the most recognizable characters in advertisement, The Marlboro Man took the company from being just a regular woman’s brand to the choice for tough men everywhere. During the 50s, more and more investigations were unveiling the harmful impact of cigarettes on the smokers’ health. That’s why Philip Morris & Co invented their new filtered alternatives and tried to pass them as healthier alternatives. Of course, their “Mild as May” slogan wasn’t going to be too effective with men.
That’s the reason why in 1954 the company introduced the creation of the Leo Burnett Worldwide ad agency: the Marlboro Man. The rough appearance and hardened face of the cowboy was enough to reassure smoking men that Marlboros were perfectly macho alternatives. The character did the trick and sales increased in $15 billion in just 3 years after his first appearance. Marlboro quickly became one of the most widely consumed tobacco brands – especially among men.
3 – 1959 – Volkswagen – Think Small
Doyle Dane Bernbach ad agency was one of the first agencies in the world to go against the grain in the marketing field. While the whole car manufacturing world was boasting of new powerful features and made unbelievable claims about performance and life-changing attributes of their products, the agency believed that a simpler approach was perfect for Volkswagen.
The German company was making smaller and more durable cars and that’s exactly what the agency tried to convey with its message. That’s why they ran a series of ads that openly acknowledged its desire to sell while adopting a self-deprecating tone when addressing the product. People was tired of mass consumerism and with the whole idea of fitting in. This campaign underlined the importance of having a personal voice and expressing individuality. Besides, it killed the grandiose tone of marketing for good and paved the way for advertisers to more relaxed campaigns.
4 – 1962 – Avis – We try harder
It’s OK to bend the truth a little to make a more appealing marketing campaign, right? Well, sometimes. Some other times is best to go with the brutal truth, even when it isn’t as flattering as you may want it to be. That’s the lesson we can all learn from Avis and its “We’re No. 2. We try harder” campaign. Another hit from the agency Doyle Dane Bernbach, this strategy was smashingly successful against all odds.
The thing is: with it, Avis was admitting that they weren’t the consumers’ favorite and that Hertz was undoubtedly the number one. But thanks to the honesty of its tagline, people started seeing the company as different and sympathized with the message. Thus, the company adopted the slogan as their unofficial motto and used it for almost 40 years.
5 – 1979 – Absolut – Absolut bottle
Before this campaign started, Absolut had only 2.5% of the vodka market and was just a brand struggling to make it. But Lars Lindmark, the brand’s CEO, felt they had something good and he wasn’t going to let it die. That something was the product’s quality, of course, but there was something else: the apothecary-like bottle of his vodka. With the help of TBWA agency and against the opinion of practically everyone in the company, Lindmark started shipping his product and marketing it in one of the simplest ways: with that bottle.
Thus, the campaign with Absolut (something) featuring the bottle was launched in 1979 and helped the brand’s rise to the top of the vodka world. Though incredible simple, the campaign went to become the longest uninterrupted ad campaign ever, comprised of more than 1,500 ads with the bottle as its sole standout character.
6 – 1984 – Apple – 1984
1984 was the year used by George Orwell to set his dystopian and paranoid novel of a government-controlled society. Considered to be one of the greatest novels of all times, its story was used by Apple to introduce its Macintosh personal computer during that same year and the ad become one of the most remembered ones thanks to various factors.
The ad was directed by renowned director Ridley Scott, it used the premise of the book the tell the exact opposite (technology is freedom and individuality) and it was aired during the Super Bowl. That’s not all. The ad only mentioned Apple once and it was aired just that one time, making it a memorable occasion for everyone that saw it – and convincing people that computers, after all, were a good thing.
7 – 1984 – Benetton – All the colors of the world
The four brothers that funded Benetton back in 1965 had an idea during the 80s. They felt that their fashion brand should appeal to everyone in the world, so there was no better way to do so than appealing to peace and racial harmony. That’s how they come up with the “All the colors of the world” campaign. Probably this campaign isn’t as remembered as the one into what this concept evolved to: United Colors of Benetton.
That campaign, launched in 1989 after a collaboration between one of the Benetton brothers and photographer Oliviero Toscani, was so bold and different that got everyone talking. The most impressive thing about it is that their photos only featured multicultural people rather than merchandise. Thus, Benetton was able to work a concept around its brand rather than around its products. Today, just the mention of “United colors” brings to memory dozens of photos that underline the importance of ethnical diversity.
8 – 1988 – Nike – Just do it
It’s very hard to overrate the impact of the first Nike ad to feature the “Just do it” slogan. A 80-year old man was jogging through the Golden Gate Bridge like he did every day. It was as simple as that and that simplicity is precisely why the slogan had (and has) so much success. People that always felt outside of athletic activities began thinking that they too could enjoy them. They only had to do it.
Additionally, Nike did a great job in tying such a simple slogan to their products. People wanting to do it just had to pick a pair of running shoes and put themselves to the task. Naturally, whenever that slogan sounded in people’s heads, Nike shows appeared in their minds convincing them that, with them on their feet, they also can become first-class athletes.
One simple question was all it took for milk sales to rise 7% in just one year in California. The genius of the campaign devised by the Goodby Silverstein & Partners agency was that it didn’t focus in the traditional audience for any product. Thus, instead of talking to people who weren’t drinking milk to convince them to start doing it, the campaign addressed existing customers to reinforce the product and make them appreciate it a little more.
Another simple slogan, the ad wasn’t liked at first by some of the executives in the ad agency. They felt that it was just lazy and grammatically incorrect. However, the campaign went ahead and spawned dozens of ads (including one directed by Michael Bay) as well as parodies and cultural references in TV shows, movies and more.
10 – 2012 – Red Bull – Felix Baumgartner space jump
Probably the last revolution in the marketing world was part of a huge Red Bull promotion and involved a really different perspective. With the popularization of the Internet, traditional ads lost terrain and advertisers had to reinvent themselves and the way they deliver their messages. That’s exactly what happened here: Red Bull acted as a sponsor for the jump to Earth from 24 into space by Felix Baumgartner.
Baumgartner became the first man to break the sound barrier without a vehicle and made an incredible jump that was broadcasted by Red Bull through the Internet. 8 million people watched the stream live and social networks went insane with the event, talking about it for hours and days. Thus, the ultimate marketing barrier was broken: the ad wasn’t about the product, the ad was the product itself.
Do you remember any other memorable ad? Tell us which!
If you know anything about content marketing, you know that the new buzzword is quality, quality, quality. Just as the three most important things for a business are location, location, location, quality for content is equally important to content marketing.
Gone are the days of stuffing or overstuffing keywords to max out the search engines and gain a higher ranking in Google. Now, Google penalize for gaming the system like that and rewards quality content in its rankings.
It is important to note, however, that content marketing should not be all about filling in the blanks and overstuffing with fluff either. When it comes to content, a story is still just a story and storytelling is an art. If you want to succeed in online marketing, then it is important to resurrect storytelling.
No matter how you look at it, a good story is still a good story. Moreover, not everyone can tell a good story. Some indivdiuals are born with an innate sense of how to run numbers while others are perfect story crafters. When it comes to content marketing you want to be sure that the person writing your content has that skill. And writing is a skill. Not everyone can do it, and not everyone can do it well.
Of course, storytelling has changed throughout the last couple of years. Have you noticed that most of your friends’ emails, texts, and posts are short and sweet? That is because everyone is in a hurry, a sort of rush to nowhere. Moreover, have you noticed that you can write more than a paragraph and most of your paragraph goes unanswered? Or what about the one word text response to your paragraph long inquiry. It seems as though storytelling is a lost art.
However, when it comes to marketing, no matter the day and age, people want to be engaged, to be brought in, to forget and feel better, and to have a need filled. That is where the art of storytelling comes into play. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end, not just a simple one word or one line answer that leaves you seeking more.
Traditional narrative go a long way in teaching us the importance of capturing your audience’s attention from the very beginning, leading along the journey, getting them to want to read more and rush excitedly to the end.
Of course, the end in the case of content marketing would be the page where they click on your product or service and buy, buy, buy or subscribe or whatever call to action you choose for your story.
Yes, traditional narratives can go a long way in online world of marketing today.
Let’s take a look at this cool storytelling examples:
It’s easy to get tied up with old ways of thinking when engaging in content marketing. When you think of content marketing it’s likely your first thought is to write a blog post. Well, you should write blog posts, but content marketing is so much more than just daily or weekly blog posts. Content marketing encompasses all the forms of content that can get information out about your offerings to your clients, as well as informing the type of products you create for your audience.
Do you ever get the impression that if you are out of social media sight, then you are out of mind? Does it always feel as though you need to constantly engage or be forgotten for the next best thing or the next best cat video?
With so much going on in our world today, it is no wonder that we don’t have time for real connections. To-do lists that never end compete with keeping your profile up and checking messages constantly demand your attention, as well. Thankfully, there is hope and help when it comes to managing your social media with automated tools.
Today, it’s essential to think about mobile SEO when designing any type of website. Consider the fact that mobile Internet connection is growing 8 times faster than PC Internet connections and you will realize that now is the time to ensure that your websites are mobile friendly. While you may not have been concerned with that in the past, now you need to concern yourself or you’re going to lose out on a lot of business. Thankfully there are many SEO mobile tools that you can implement today without missing a beat or compromising any part of your business.
Anyone who knows anything about technology knows one thing for sure. The minute you learn how to use something or, better yet, get used to something, something newer and better (hopefully) comes along.