2019 has been some year! We have had loads to talk about, from climate change to Brexit. Brands certainly weren’t playing it safe this year and I thought, why not celebrate this! Consumers have far greater access to advertising campaigns than ever before, with social media marketing and better targeting technology. This also means they can publicise their opinion on a particular brand, which can either be excellent free brand awareness or a PR disaster. Here are a few of my favourite campaigns from 2019.
Sparking headlines all over the globe, Gillette certainly kick-started 2019 with a bang! In January, Gillette released an ad that highlighted the #MeToo movement.
While the ad gained praise from some, it also saw P&G’s GEO receive a threatening phone call from a shareholder surrounding the ad. Some found it a step forward in modern society, while others found the ad extremely insensitive. Once the ad went live, the Gillette board held crisis meetings every HOUR and found out that the majority of online criticism came from two alt-right groups that used bots to push out thousands of negative commentary on social media. However, the campaign has still proven to be a success, as, after just one week, the ad received 110 million views and 18 billion media impressions on social media, while the brand’s media spend accumulated to just £81 for the global campaign. In June, figures showed that since it’s launch, 65% of consumers were more likely to purchase Gillette products. Millennials, in particular, showed positive attitudes towards the brand. This campaign brought to light the power of social media marketing and its platform for building conversations on taboo issues. These conversations are what got people talking about Gillette the brand and the message they were trying to portray, which is one of the best ways to increase your brand awareness.
— Gillette (@Gillette) January 14, 2019
Vegans were queued out the door, marketeers were shocked and Piers Morgan lost his mind over it… the Greggs’ Vegan Sausage Roll filled our screens and our bellies in January.
In an effort to “own Veganuary”, the brand pitched the “next-generation sausage roll technology” in a parody of an Apple product launch. With veganism on the rise and sustainability at the fore-front of most consumers purchase decisions, this innovation by Greggs was a huge success! Almost everyone on Twitter was talking about it, some delighted and most just curious, and the product was Greggs’ fastest-selling new product in five years. It’s estimated that PR coverage reached nearly 70% of UK adults more than 11 times on social, TV and print advertising. The product was talked about so much on social media, that social engagement in January 2019 outperformed the whole of 2018.
Nobody was waiting for a vegan bloody sausage, you PC-ravaged clowns. https://t.co/QEiqG9qx2G
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 2, 2019
Oh hello Piers, we've been expecting you
— Greggs (@GreggsOfficial) January 2, 2019
2019 was a progressive year for TV sport, especially with the Women’s Football World Cup taking place in the summer. In celebration of this, Nike released its ‘Dream Crazier’ campaign in a bid to encourage women to play sports. Narrated by tennis champion, Serena Williams, the ad received over 28 million views on Twitter and 6 million views on Youtube after just one day.
A major trend that has revolutionised social media marketing is influencers, who over the years have built niche audiences within their own fields of interest. Their influence on consumer purchase decisions is powerful, so many brands pay them to promote their products. Nike’s strategy this year was to ask their sponsored athletes across various sports to share and post about the advert in order to increase awareness of the campaign. This again shows that, with the right strategy, social media is a platform that can help brands project their message to audiences across the globe.
— Nike (@Nike) February 24, 2019
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) February 24, 2019
— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) February 25, 2019
As avid Spotify listeners in the AD office, their sentimental campaign didn’t go unnoticed and I couldn’t help but add it to my favourites of 2019!
September saw Spotify ignite nostalgia across the UK with their ‘Listen Like You Used To’ campaign aimed at Generation X listeners. The brand produced bold creatives with cultural quips across digital media, bus stops, underground stations and billboards to target an audience who grew up from 1979 to 1999. I thought this campaign was copywriting gold and helped engage this audience to start conversations on social media. Take a look at the examples below to find out why I loved this campaign!
Brewdog got political in 2019 with their ‘Vote Punk’ campaign during December’s general election. The brand offered a free pint for anyone who voted in a bid to help increase voter turnout across the UK… as long as they took a selfie at the polling station. The campaign was neutral as the brand chose not to affiliate themselves with any party, using social media and even a bus placement to promote their campaign. This was an excellent tactic that would encourage younger audiences to vote and also promote their craft beer. People were sharing images of their free pint on Twitter and Instagram throughout the day, which helped spread Brewdog’s message to larger audiences.
— Snow Raccoon (@SlyRaccoon) December 12, 2019
It’s been very interesting to see how brands have embraced social media over the past few years; so I can imagine that with the Olympics, American elections and other major events happening in 2020, brands will already be working on their social media marketing strategy for next year!
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