4 of the most innovative brand building campaigns of recent years


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There are many potential ingredients for an intriguing brand building campaign. Whether it’s a beautifully shot commercial, amusing billboard or even a controversial opinion, there’s one element they all have in common – originality. The world’s most established names in business are always shaking things up and trying something new. While moving with convention may seem like a safe and reliable idea, over time it can seriously hinder the brand building process.

In association with employment engagement agency Berghind Joseph, I have compiled a list of the 4 most innovative brand building campaigns of recent years.

Guinness’s ‘Friendship’ Commercial

Guinness is known for their visually striking television commercials. Their black and white surfing advert with the horses protruding from the waves is generally considered to be one of the greatest of all time. In 2013 their ‘friendship’ commercial – which was created by BBDO – also received a great deal of praise. The 60-second scene featured six friends playing wheelchair basketball; however, at the end of the game, five men stood up revealing that it was only one of them who suffered from a disability. While they’re enjoying their post-game beers at the pub, a voiceover says, ‘The choices we make reveal the true nature of our character.’ Not only is this commercial visually stunning, but it leaves viewers feeling genuinely touched.

Marmite’s ‘Don’t Forget It’ Campaign

Everybody knows Marmite’s justly famous ‘love it or hate it’ slogan. It takes a lot of guts for a company to actually say something negative about themselves – even in a satirical manner. In 2013 the company took it one step further and satirized animal cruelty charities by appealing to raise awareness for neglected Marmite jars across Britain. This controversial marketing campaign may have sparked outrage among animal rights groups, but over 85% of respondents in a Marketing Week survey were highly positive.

Coca Cola’s Name Bottles

Coca Cola has created some of the most innovative marketing campaigns of all time. It’s even got to the stage where some people don’t start feeling the Christmas spirit until their iconic Santa Claus truck advert starts airing on television. More recently, Coca Cola has developed their ‘Share a Coke’ campaign and printed 150 common names on their bottles and cans. The result was the sale of more than 268 million named Coca Cola drinks within just 3 months.

Cadbury’s Chocolate Facebook Thumb

Since social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook really started to take off, companies have been striving to find ways of increasing activity on their pages. In the buildup to Easter, Cadbury decided to thank their fans by posting a live feed of their staff building a giant Facebook thumb. In the end over 250,000 people got involved and their page gained over 40,000 new fans.

This list proves that even after many years of exposure and recognition, not even the biggest names in business can get away with mediocre marketing strategies. Fundamentally, it’s not their name that has helped them stand the test of time, but their constant flow of innovative branding techniques.

About The Author:James Timpson
James, a keen fisherman and sports fan, works in London as a business consultant and blogs part time. In recent years, he's worked to build relationships with leading business minds in the UK and learns from their experiences on a daily basis.