A successful campaign doesn’t only capture the viewer’s attention — it does more than that. Indeed, it has the enviable ability to stick in that viewer’s mind for a long time. They could be just talking with their friends about different companies and, because of that memorable ad, they end up recommending your brand to their friends. But for your commercial to be remembered, it needs to exist on different channels. Indeed, the best integrated marketing campaigns wait patiently for customers to notice them on various platforms.
Although difficult to execute right, marketers know they need to examine the strengths of each channel to create a successful integrated campaign. Then, they tailor their content to each platform. What’s their aim? It’s quite simple — they want to target different buyers across various platforms. As a result, a brand’s campaign won’t go unnoticed and it will resonate among the right people. In fact, 55% of customers are more likely to buy a product if they love the brand’s story.
In this article, we explore five of the best integrated marketing campaigns. Although different, each one of them gives useful lessons on how to dominate the marketing world.
But, before we start, let’s see what integrated marketing is!
Integrated marketing isn’t a new term in the industry. However, it’s recently gained traction as a way for companies to respond to constant changes in the industry. The increase in marketing channels has resulted in customers being bombarded with messages and content. But, to stand out, brands need to develop a strong strategy and have consistent messaging throughout the buyer’s journey. This is where integrated marketing comes in.
Integrated marketing is a marketing approach that looks to create a more unified and seamless experience for customers. This means that every branded effort — be it on television, the internet, or billboards — needs to have a similar style that will connect it to that company. So, integrated marketing wants to join all marketing channels like social media, sales, and advertising to have them all become a unified force. Through this process, companies ensure that all communication with customers is consistent across different platforms.
Therefore, sit down with your team and brainstorm how you can deliver a consistent content experience on all channels. But before that, take a look at the below examples of the best integrated marketing campaigns.
For years, Apple has been perceived as THE innovator when it comes to technology. Frankly, it has earned the title because of its products and stunning marketing efforts. The first integrated campaign that comes to mind is Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign from 2006. Even today, it’s a great example of Apple’s marketing plan to build brand identity by establishing the brand itself as a face and personality.
The campaign, starring Justin Long (“I’m a Mac”) and John Hodgman (“I’m a PC), made it possible for people to associate these two brands with the personas. There is the cool, easy-going Mac on one side and the nerdy, outdated PC on the other. Who’d you choose?
Of course, Apple’s aim was to get people to stop using a PC and turn towards a Mac. Although the ad was competitive, it was also funny and playful. And most importantly, Apple was the “good guy,” always teaching the PC to stop being so critical of itself. In addition, the campaign was that successful that it became part of popular culture. Comedians referenced it to entertain viewers (it was even mentioned in South Park), while certain religious groups used the format for their own agendas.
What’s more, compared to the other best integrated marketing campaigns on our list, this one is the longest. It spanned four years and 66 commercials (!). This length is a true testament to its effectiveness and customer’s reception of Apple’s marketing approach. In the end, “Get a Mac” proves that competitive marketing can work.
Moving on to another memorable campaign. “Wasssup” was that good that Robert Wong of Google Creative Lab described it as “by far the most iconic, pop-culture spiking and memed ad of the 21st century”. So, like our other best integrated marketing campaigns, this one will surely inspire you.
The Super Bowl is the place TV commercials go to dream big. In 2000, “Wasssup” got a chance to capture the attention of millions of football fans. And it didn’t throw away its shot! The ad features friends repeating this phrase over and over again while drinking Budweiser and watching a football game. Like “Get a Mac,” “Wasssup” made its way into popular culture, with spoofs being made in response. Even media personalities Katie Couric and Howard Stern parodied the commercial.
Furthermore, this kind of organic sponsorship is what companies want today. But it would be worth a small fortune.
Although the internet was still in the early stages, the brand became a pioneer as it directed viewers to the website. On the site, internet users could learn how to pronounce “Wasssup” in over 30 languages! With this additional content, just one word drove more traffic to Budweiser’s website and sealed the effectiveness of its marketing campaign.
What’s more, “Wasssup” won several awards, including the Grand Prix at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes. It also increased the sales of Bud Light (the beer featured in the ad), with the sales growing at double-digit rates.
“Wasssup” teaches us that we should make the most of what a campaign can offer. Not only that, but it also shows that it’s vital to consider what forms a commercial can take on different platforms. In this case, Budweiser created a new web page to support the ad. However, today you can use social media marketing to generate even more engagement.
The best integrated marketing campaigns are those that spark conversations and draw attention. In 2004, the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty did just that. The company rolled out this campaign on a series of billboards across Canada and London. It featured images of different women and asked the passers-by questions about these ladies.
So, Dove wondered whether these women were “fat or fit” or “wrinkled or wonderful.” With these bold questions, Dove prompted people to talk about female beauty and double standards.
Moreover, the ad was featured on static billboards, but the interaction didn’t stop there. Through clever marketing, the company was successful at making people talk about the brand message on social media. This was what helped the campaign go viral. And customers did vote for one of the two options. For instance, in Toronto, there were 52% of votes for “fat,” while 48% opted for “fit.”
Because of this campaign, annual sales of Dove products increased from $2.5 billion to $4 billion. Not only was the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty a financial success, but it was also groundbreaking, celebrating women of all shapes and sizes.
The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty taught marketers research should be an integral part of their marketing strategies. Also, it proved that companies need to be aware of the conversations into which they are launching a campaign. So, ask questions, connect your business to a relevant movement, and you’ll increase brand awareness and drive more sales.
Back in 2018, the New York Times was struggling. With a decrease in subscriptions and dwindling trust in the news, the team behind this famous newspaper had to find ways to build widespread trust. That’s when they came up with “The Truth Is Hard,” one of the best integrated marketing campaigns of all time.
The campaign had one goal — offer transparency to the general public. Many would agree that the best advertising makes you pause and pay attention. But it also encourages you to take some action and learn more about the issue at hand. “The Truth Is Hard” does that. One look at it and you can see that it tells a clear story. In addition, it shows viewers why journalism is important today.
In 2018, The Times released a minimalist film, displaying the clarity of the newsprint. Viewers felt challenged and began thinking about what truth meant to them. With the world combating refugee crises and wars, the second phase of the campaign showed what journalists endure to deliver accurate coverage. After launching paid campaigns on social media, this content reached the whole world.
As a result, the Times’ subscriptions went through the roof. Indeed, its subscriber base increased by 100%, lifting public’s opinion of the famous publication.
“The Truth Is Hard” proves that brands can restore their image to the public by using digital marketing. However, in order to achieve this, you would need to rely on multiple channels to get into the consciousness of your customers.
So, what can we learn from these best integrated marketing campaigns? Most importantly, that we shouldn’t underestimate our audience. Never miss a chance to surprise and delight your customers and they will appreciate you more for it.
Then, use social media to achieve your goals. When promoting a product or service, create additional content to have a richer and more engaging campaign.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to showcase your product and its benefits. But, try to be original when doing that. Just look at Apple and its success! So, research every platform, check the tone, and you might create one of the best integrated marketing campaigns.