Marketing Campaigns: Between Geniality and Disasters

If you have just started studying marketing, browsing the web in search of past campaigns can be a valid way to overview and understand the infinite possibilities this field offers.

You can find good examples of successful campaigns everywhere on the internet, numerous as the stars in the sky, so what I am going to show here are just 2 examples I came across, which really impressed me for diverse reasons.

1 – Apple (Mac) against Microsoft (PC)

The fierce competition between the two colossal electronic brands is so famous and well-known between consumers, that there is no reason on smoothing it.
That is what someone in Apple had to be thinking when producing and distributing the following television commercials back on 2006.

This video is a full collection of the all ads, and it lasts 38 minutes. Find the original here

Even if Apple lacks miserably on politeness, with crafty humour and no special effect, the firm is able to highlight what makes them better than the competitors.
“The company experienced 42% market share growth in its first year with its…” (the tv spot) “…help”, says Lindsay of Hubspot.
This is the perfect example of the power a company can gain when fully aware of goals, own values and reasons for standing in the market. You simply win.

2 – Budweiser “Whasssup?!” television commercial

Find original here

Guilty of have never seen it before today, this spot is genial!
In a short minute, it directly speaks to consumers quirkiness, celebrating them in a funny, silly and, especially, relatable way.
A brand can be whatever as much as it fully acknowledges their targeted customers habits and behaviours.

Find at the end of the post, a full list of articles about great marketing campaigns.


Then, sometimes knowing the story of ruinous past campaigns can be also more inspirational for avoiding terrible mistakes.

This is the case of Pepsi Cola in the Philippines in 1992 when a great idea turned out to be the company biggest flop.
In order to boost the sales and beat the colossal competitor of Coca Cola, Pepsi marketers came up with a strategy based on the human/consumers desire for easy and fast wealth.
With a system similar to the national lottery, they announced a huge monetary reward for everyone able to obtain a specific code number printed inside the cap of Pepsi bottles.

Find original image here

However, when the company announced the winner, more than 800,000 caps with the same number were at that moment been printed and distributed around the country.
Easy to imagine the rage of winners who just received a little monetary bonus instead of the promised reward. The situation eventually degenerated with large-scale protests and manifestations against the brand, in the attempt of boycotting the company.
The moral is: always respect what has been promised, otherwise, the reputation of the brand will definitely be affected by that.
There are other similar cases where brands did not proceed with what promised, resulting in incredible failures. (See Hoover in 1992).

In 2009 Tropicana juice, instead, decided to invest in redesigning packagings and logo, without conducting proper research on what its consumers used to identify with the brand. This brought to great loss because, when shopping, customers were not able anymore to recognize Tropicana products at first glance.

Original image here

In fact, the choice of removing the plum orange with red-white straw from their packages favouring a more minimal design is a jump of style just too great to be accomplished in one time only. The process should have been more smooth in order to allow customers to get used to changes step-by-step, without rushing the necessary time.
The whole process cost $50+ million dollars loss in revenue, considering the redesign price and the drop in sales equal to 20% because, vanished from the shelfs of markets, the brand was accidentally inviting loyal consumers to approach products of competitors.
[Find all the data I mention in this Quora reply post]


If you are curious to know more about brand flops, here a list of useful articles:

Discover more inspiring successful campaigns in the following articles:

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