Most Memorable Advertising Campaigns of all time

Because there are so many campaigns that nobody understand. Because in today’s industry sometimes matters more to scream your message out loud than to make yourself heard with a simple message that stands out. And because there are several references in advertising that any copywriter wanna-be should know, I thought to remind you of 5 campaigns in advertising history that have stood the test of time.

by Adela Sescu
1 year, 9 months ago
1

In the '50s Volkswagen was able to make Americans, big fans of large cars, luxury statement statute, to love a Germanic ugly car. This is what the Advertising Age called "the best advertising campaign of the twentieth century."

In short: while the others went on the idea of luxury, Helmut Krone and Julian Koenig (DDB) have relied on simplicity and sincerity for the famous Volkswagen Beetle. Prints speak, ironically, how Volkswagen Beetle car not only is not ideal, but it is quite the opposite. And guess what, it is precisely its strength!

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2
In a time when a computer was something about SF, Apple wanted to democratize technology and thus the spot "1984" was born for the launch of Macintosh.  Macintosh was competing  with another variant called "Manuals", displaying an IBM XT with a pile of manuals and a Macintosh with a simple instruction booklet. Despite Apple management’s reluctance on the idea of Steven Hayden and Brent Thomas based on the novel of George Orwell's masterpiece, "1984", the spot aired during Super Bowl XVII. The rest is history.
This is the full video of '1984', the commercial released by Apple on 22nd January ...
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3

In 1988, during a meeting between Nike and agency representatives Wielden and Kennedy, Dan Weiden, co-founder of the agency, said admiringly, "You Nike guys, you just do it"… and that was it! In just 3 words, "Just Do It", they managed to include perfectly the whole culture and personality of the brand Nike and transform a simple pair of shoes ... into a lifestyle. Thus, Nike has managed to leave far behind its main competitor - Reebok - and to include in its target audience not only male consumers, but also women and adolescents.

Key ingredients? Determination, passion, humor, a strong endorsement (names like Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson or John McEnroe) and the impulse given to consumers to overcome their limitations. Just do it! 


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4

Swedish origin, the high price and lack of awareness were the weaknesses of the brand Absolut on a highly competitive market dominated by Russian names. One there was, above all others, that made it even more difficult – its ugly, banal glass - which has been transformed by the longest ad campaign that run 25 years and included over 1,500 prints in the brand definition. Here’s the absolute power of simplicity.

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Uploaded by HolyAbsolut on 2009-07-04.
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5

I know that now seems less plausible, but Marlboro was originally intended for females and its posters displayed a feminine hand reaching out for a cigarette.

In the 50's, when filtered cigarettes were viewed as something feminine, loyalty to a brand of cigarettes was very large, the companies talked about technology and health benefits offered by the filter. Leo Burnett adopted an entirely different strategy for Marlboro’s re-branding  created a true icon, a symbol of masculinity, a character that lives the ideal life that the rest of us only dream of. Marlboro created the ideal man. Strong, free, independent, tough, adventurous ... this is the Marlboro man. And to be like him ... it’s necessary to light a cigarette.

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6

Volkswagen, Nike, Apple, ABSOLUT Vodka and Marlboro have had terrific marketing strategies. These products are all readily identifiable. And what’s the common idea in their strategy? Simplicity. These companies used a minimalist approach to advertising (like ABSOLUT Perfection is written under an ABSOLUT Vodka bottle with a halo above it) remained faithful to the strategy. Throughout the years, their messages have stood the test of time.


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1. Volkswagen - “Think small”
2. Apple - “1984”
3. Nike - “Just Do It”
4. Absolut Vodka
5. Marlboro - Marlboro Man
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