What makes a media campaign memorable?


By Laura K.

We see media campaigns everywhere – they take the form of videos shared on social media, advertisements on TV or posters on billboards. Sometimes we quickly glance at the ads, and just as quickly we forget about them. The art of creating a memorable campaign isn’t an easy one, so what makes one stand out of the crowd?

A marketing campaign is an advertisement through different types of media, such as television, radio, print, and online platforms. It can be designed with different goals in mind, like building a brand image, promoting a new product or improving sales of an old one. For advertising to be efficient, it has to meet specific criteria:

  • It needs to resonate with consumers by delivering a personally meaningful message
  • Demonstrate how the product or service fits into consumers’ lives or work to make them better
  • Be inseparably linked to the brand itself and show its purpose
  • Stand for important values beyond the product or service itself by addressing or solving a specific issue
  • Be brave, eye-catching and creative

Great ad campaigns combine powerful, touching messages with credible and trustworthy products. They are often founded on profound psychological insights. The messages, delivered in thought-provoking ways, increase the possibilities they’ll be shared virally by brand fans, who further add reliability and awareness. The following are some of the most popular campaigns of the last decade.

The “Real Beauty” campaign, Dove

Dove’s commercial shows a person describe their appearance while an artist who doesn’t see them draws a portrait. Then the artist draws another picture, this time by listening to a stranger describe the same person. As you can imagine, the portrait derived from the individual’s self-description is less attractive, less bright and less realistic than the second one. The commercial portrays a beautiful message about self-esteem and the beauty within all of us. Not only did the campaign empower women, but it also made Dove become the number one preferred soap brand in the U.S.

The #LikeAGirl campaign, Always

The expression “like a girl” is often used as an insult to tease somebody weak, over-emotional or useless. Always created a social experiment where they asked people to do things “like a girl”. Women, boys and men behaved in a silly and self-deprecating way, but young girls reacted with confidence, pride and self-belief, clearly unaware of the gender stereotype. Through social media hashtags and PR, the campaign challenged the use of this expression, redefining it into something positive. It has also proved Always to be a driven brand, which has made more and more women want to support their products.

The #HelpIsComing campaign, Save The Children

Save the Children tugged on everyone’s heartstrings with an incredibly powerful short video called “Most Shocking Second A Day”. The video’s purpose is to depict the lives of children growing up surrounded by war. It was launched on the third anniversary of the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War. With the hashtag #helpiscoming, Save the Children used this video and interviews with child refugees to generate awareness, making people want to get involved.

The “Christmas Miracle” campaign, WestJet

WestJet aspired to bring joy to travelers by creating an interactive project during Christmastime. The company astonished unsuspecting travelers with a real-time holiday surprise that delivered personalized gifts to them while they were on a flight! Showing that the company cares about its clients made the campaign a viral success and increased WestJet’s sales by 86% compared to the same period last year.

“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, Old Spice

To finish this article with something light-hearted here’s the popular Old Spice campaign, which took a humorous and witty approach to advertise their products. It was driven by a key insight: 60% of body wash purchases are made by women, so their goal was to target the female audience and prompt a conversation between couples. After the video ad release, a team of creatives produced 186 video responses to questions from fans on social media, making this interactive campaign a viral sensation. With a fresh and funny take the campaign intrigued its audience, solving Old Spice’s brand image problem and doubling the sales!

These campaigns further show that memorability is achieved with meaningful insights, creative ideas and a whole lot of effort! A brand can have great power in spreading a message and generating change not only for themselves but for their target audience as well.

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  3. “Old Spice: Smell Like A Man, Man” in Wieden Kennedy. Retrieved on 2020, August 20 from https://www.wk.com/work/old-spice-smell-like-a-man-man/
  4. Greenwald, M., “Secrets of 7 of the Most Effective Ad Campaigns” in Forbes. Retrieved on 2020, August 20 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/michellegreenwald/2014/07/10/secrets-of-7-of-the-most-effective-ad-campaigns/#18c17fa5320c
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