Thursday, September 29, 2022

Eight ad campaigns that taught these entrepreneurs valuable lessons

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

While they can be effective in attracting more customers, many ad campaigns come and go, just enough to grab audience attention and increase brand awareness. However, there are other campaigns that really stick with a target audience, be it a niche group or even an entire generation. Not only are these campaigns memorable, they have often become part of popular culture.

Whether with their humor, their emotion or their important message, these ads inspire and entertain everyone while teaching other companies what makes a truly effective campaign. Below eight members of Council for Young Entrepreneurs describe the ad campaigns they greatly value and the lessons they learned about advertising and more.

1. ‘Buy a Mac’

The old “Mac vs. PC” commercials from the “Get a Mac” campaign with Justin Long as the Mac and John Hodgman as the PC were brilliant. They created a perfect juxtaposition between the two brands, making it so easy to understand the main differences between their products. Macs were easy. Open the box and it is ready to use. PCs were hard. Open the box and there was tons of documentation to read. There were drivers to download, software to install and the list went on. Macs were cool too. Choose your color. PCs were dull and ugly. Both the images and the messages worked together to deliver a simple yet powerful message of differentiation. Those commercials are a perfect example of brand positioning, and they helped extend Macs well beyond the audiences of ad agencies and graphic designers they previously relied on. – Jonathan Prichard,

2. ‘Like a Girl’

There are many to choose from, but the campaign I admire is “Like a Girl” by Always. It’s a brilliantly curated campaign that evokes the right emotions. The campaign talks about the issues girls face and aims to motivate the public with a powerful message. The lesson learned? It’s okay to talk about social issues and take a stand. Just because no one talks about it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either. Campaigns like this create significant emotional appeal, which in turn leads to unending brand loyalty. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable shapes

3. ‘Find your reason’

I find Fitbit’s “Find Your Reason” campaign really admirable. What made it such a great campaign is that Fitbit put its customers in the spotlight by showcasing their success stories. The campaign motivated many who were really struggling to find their ‘reason’. It also increased Fitbit’s brand loyalty by spotlighting unknown scammers. The lesson learned? User generated content with good stories works wonders. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

4. ‘Just do it’

Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign is inspiring to any young person who wants to be motivated and inspired to achieve something in life. The wording and visuals used allowed Nike to create an ad campaign that appealed to most young people’s interests. Nike shows off their slogan “Just Do It” by talking about the sport of basketball. So if the viewers look at the ad and think about what the tagline means, it makes sense to them. The ad does not have extremely flashy or action-packed graphics to grab viewers’ attention. Instead, Nike uses basketball games and their players as the primary visual imagery. This is a smart approach because the viewers can relate to what they see and make the association from that point. – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

5. ‘Delivery Dance’

Grubhub’s Delivery Dance ad a few years ago – and the resulting response – has to be it for me for many reasons. One is the negative response it received at the time, with many on social media complaining that the live TV ad was “lame” or “cringe.” You’d think it was a disaster as the social vitriol was pouring in by the minute, but it’s the events that followed this first wave of attack that I find fascinating. If you were watching live TV at the time and were also a social media user, you would have seen the hilarious and often vile comments and memes made about the ad’s characters and their overreactions to the food delivered to them. . But their distribution grew because of the conversation sparked on Twitter. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

6. ‘Chaos’

The Allstate “Mayhem” campaign has been one of my favorites lately. The casting, story angle, and connection to the brand’s value proposition were all aligned. What made this campaign so great is that it showcased common events that occur in everyday activities (like texting while driving), then hilariously personified the cause of the problem with Dean Winters’ achievements. While many ads are humorous, they don’t really serve the purpose of making you understand that there is a problem and that you need to do something about it. However, this campaign demonstrated that effortlessly. – Andy Karuzac, NachoNacho

7. “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”

One of the best campaigns I’ve ever seen is Old Spice’s commercials with ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’. They move fast, are smart and are humorous. Most importantly, they are memorable and were some of the most talked about commercials when they came out. One lesson I learned from that campaign is that you don’t have to take yourself seriously to take your brand seriously. People like to have fun and it’s a good way to associate your brand with fun and humor. – Baruch Labunskic, Rank Safe

8. ‘Thank you, Mom’

“The hardest job in the world is the best job in the world. Thanks, Mom,” is a phrase that hits me every time! Is there a more emotional ad than what P&G has created with the storylines of Olympic athletes and the mothers who supported them? The stories show how mothers, through their love and unwavering support and reassurance, played a part in that one crowning moment that makes champions of otherwise ordinary people. These simple ads take viewers on a journey and connect them back to moms in everyday life. It is a work of art and advertising at its finest. The lesson I’ve learned is the power of emotional connection and empathy that a brand can create with its consumers by using a universal theme (in this case, “the sacrifice and support of mothers”), as P&G did with its household Products. – Brian David Crane, Spread great ideas

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