Your ad campaigns should always stay fresh and timely, which is why it’s important to frequently come up with new ideas. On the other hand, sometimes it can be difficult to muster the creative energy for new ad campaigns over and over.
If you’re feeling sapped of inspiration, it can help to look at other successful ad campaigns in recent years. Learn what they did well and how you can recreate those tactics for your own marketing strategies. Here are some of the ad and marketing campaigns that have stood out the most in the past year.
Most of us in older generations can remember TV ads with Tony the Tiger. The rambunctious, cereal loving, striped mascot would take a spoonful of Kellog’s Frosted Flakes and declare, “They’re grrrrreat!”
But generations change. Gen Z, for instance, leans more towards video games and streamers than network TV shows. So, Tony the Tiger, a figure that’s existed since 1952, made a change of his own, becoming a VTuber in 2022.
His Twitch debut kicked off with a collaboration that included popular streamers like Brennan “GoldGlove” O’Neill, Chrissy Costanza, Jakeem “BigCheese” Johnson, and Kleo Thomas. The group played together while talking about the new Kellog’s Frosted Flakes cereal. After just one livestream, Tony the Tiger had almost 7k followers.
This ad campaign was successful because it bridged a generational gap. By putting a new spin on a classic mascot, it drew in Gen Z audiences while still catching the interest of older generations with childhood memories of Tony the Tiger.
On the other hand, Nike celebrated their 50th anniversary by playing up the nostalgia factor and celebrating their past success. Long the favorite sports sneaker of famous athletes, Nike teamed up with famous director Spike Lee to release a 5 minute director’s cut ad titled “Seen It All.”
The ad featured famous golfers, tennis players, track and field runners, basketball players, and more who sported Nike sneakers while making history. The “fancy footwork” of these trailblazing athletes paved the way for some of the greats today — many of whom also wear Nike sneakers.
The production quality of this ad was spectacular as only an ad filmed by Spike Lee could be. But more than that, it reminded the world of the relationship Nike has had with the world of sports in years past, and how they continue to go strong today. The ad was a tribute to nostalgia without losing any relevance.
On January 18, 2022, Twitter posted a thread of 39 billboards across 8 North American cities. The billboards all showed pictures of successful celebrities — from Demi Lovato and Simu Liu to Matthew Cherry and Issa Rae — achieving their dreams next to a screenshot of a tweet from years ago where they tweeted about that dream. The moral of the story? All these famous figures were once dreamers themselves.
What made the “if you can dream it, tweet it” campaign work so well was the “you could be next” factor. Twitter users could easily imagine themselves in ten years looking back at a tweet in which they talked about wanting to publish a book, or travel the world, or become a famous singer, and realizing they achieved that dream. This ad gave hope in a year when consumers desperately wanted it.
Here We Flo has always been bold in their marketing campaigns for period, bladder, and sexual awareness products that are both vegan and organic. Part of the mission of their company, after all, is to do away with the stigma attached to these topics.
Their #NoMorePeriodDrama campaign began with a 30 second ad that capitalized on the popularity of period dramas in TV recently. It was also a clever play on words. The ad took viewers to a dinner scene in Regency England, in which one woman began speaking frankly about her struggles with her period. As the men became increasingly uncomfortable, other women — all dressed as though they came out of an episode of Bridgerton — began to suggest organic tampons from Flo.
Here We Flo’s ad campaign also utilized a hashtag to allow viewers to either look up more information on social media or even respond to the ad themselves. This is a tactic we’re seeing used more and more with ad and marketing campaigns, and it will only become more interactive as social media continues to grow.