What made them so successful? 

  1. Nike: Just Do It.

Type of Advertising: print

Many years ago, Nike was a brand merely known in the marathoners community. However, health and exercise became a trend and Nike’s marketing department realized that this was to be used in their advantage, to overpower their competition: Reebok. At the time Reebok was selling more than Nike. This was when NIke came up with the “Just do it” campaign, and it was a hit. In a span of 10 years, Nike’s sales rose from 800 million to 9.2 billion. The quote encapsulated what the consumer felt when exercising: making an effort to achieve the results we want.

When deciding the best way to present a brand, we must ask ourselves: What problem are we trying to solve for our target? What solution does our product represent? This creates an emotional connection with the consumer which is hard for them to ignore.

  1. Coke: Share a Coke

Type of Advertising: print

Large companies usually have the pressure to create revolutionary marketing campaigns once they have some prestige. What did Coca Cola do to have people’s attention worldwide? They focused on individuality- placing a name on each of their bottles. The “Share a Coke” campaign began in Australia in 2011, when Coca Cola personalized each bottle with the 150 most common names in the country. Since then, the US followed their example, and one can even purchase a custom bottle online with a nickname or college logo. Coca Cola consumers are constant buyers, and the campaign gave meaning to the ownership of each individual bottle.

  1. Absolut Vodka: The Absolut Bottle

Type of Advertising: print

Despite not having a concrete shape, the vodka brand, Absolut, turned its bottle into a recognizable representation on a global scale. Its campaign was made up of ads with bottles “in the wild”, and since then, the campaign lasted for an additional 25 years. It has been the longest-running campaign in history and consists of 1,500 different variations of the design. Absolut’s logic is: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. When the campaign began, Absolut hada mere 2.5% of the vodka market, and when it reached an end in the late 2000s, it was selling 4.5 million cases per year, amounting to 50% of USA’s vodka consumption. No matter how dull a product may seem, you can make its ads interesting, and tell a story. Absolut reused its ad 1,500 times, but leaned on consistency and differentiation.

What do they have in common?

All three top campaigns in the world share an unexpected similarity: they were carried out with print advertising. Nowadays, large companies dedicate the largest percent of their marketing budget to online ads, and lose sight of the massive and important factors of traditional outdoor advertising. What really determines the success of a campaign is the creativity and strategy that accompanies it.