5 Campaigns We're Thankful Happened This Year

Blog - Top 5 Marketing Campaigns

It’s that time of year again

Thanksgiving is upon us. But, before we cram turkey in our face holes and fall asleep in the recliner at 2 p.m., let’s take some time to honor a cherished Thanksgiving tradition. One that can actually trace its roots all the way back to the very first Thanksgiving… that’s right, we’re talking about sharing listicles detailing our favorite marketing campaigns of the past year! (Why, what did you think we were talking about?)

1. The artist formerly known as IHOP

On June 4, IHOP tweeted that it would be flipping the “p” and would henceforth be known as IHOb. IHOP, whoops, I mean IHOb told followers the meaning of the mysterious “b” would be revealed in a week’s time. So naturally, the entire internet lost its marbles trying to figure out what the “b” could possibly stand for. Bacon? Bill Murray? Beluga whales? The possibilities seemed endless. Then, a week later, IHOb announced it would be known from then on as the International House of… Burgers.

Yes, the whole thing was the pancake giant’s roundabout way of pushing its selection of USDA choice burgers. While IHOb has since reverted back to IHOP, we’re thankful for this perfect example of harnessing the power of social media to create huge amounts of buzz for your brand.

2. Tide owns Super Bowl LII

If you ask 100 people what they remember most from last year’s Super Bowl, I’d guess the endless barrage of Tide commercials would probably top the list. The ad people at P&G set the Super Bowl bar astronomically high with this series of ads making sure Tide laundry detergent was top of mind throughout the whole game.

The ads fooled viewers into thinking they were seeing commercials for other brands by using recognizable symbols like Clydesdale horses, the “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” guy and Mr. Clean himself. Then, David K. Harbour, who you might recognize as Jim Hopper from Stranger Things, appeared to point out how clean everyone’s clothes were and to let us know, “It’s a Tide ad.” This happened over and over, with Tide using close to two full minutes of ad time throughout four quarters. Just when you thought you were safe… BOOM. It’s a Tide ad.

The messaging behind it was, whenever you see clean clothes in an ad, it might as well be a Tide ad! It’s no secret Super Bowl ads have been lacking in creativity the past few years, so we’re thankful to see this unique and hilarious way a brand stayed top of mind during the biggest game of the year.

3. LinkedIn for the many, not the few

Since 2002, LinkedIn has been dealing with the perception that its site is just a place for stuffed shirts to share career achievements and pat each other on the back. This January, the brand set out to combat that notion by launching the “In It Together” campaign. Based on the insight that everyone has something different that drives their work, LinkedIn used testimonials from users in unconventional professions explaining why they’re “in it” to show workers of all industries and occupations that LinkedIn is a place for them.

The integrated campaign debuted during the Golden Globes this January and is still going strong with a mix of digital display, social media and video in certain markets around the U.S. The jury’s still out on whether the campaign yielded significant numbers of user enrollment, but we’re always thankful for more brand inclusiveness!

4. Nike takes a stand

The world’s most successful sports brand has never been one to shy away from politics, which is a fundamental part of its brand personality. But with the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It.” tagline, the brand took its political polarization to another level when it positioned ex-NFL quarterback and divisive political critic Colin Kaepernick as the campaign’s poster boy.

Everyone with a pulse was quick to chime in on whether Nike’s move was heroic or unpatriotic. Some critics took things a step further and actually filmed themselves burning their Nike apparel. (Instead of just returning it to the store to get some of their money back)

While Americans are divided on the issue, Nike’s core demographic for the most part isn't. This is probably why the brand felt comfortable enough to take a stance in the first place. Whether you loved the choice or hated it, you had an opinion and that’s what Nike’s thankful for.

5. Domino’s paves the way… literally

Who needs local government anyway? This past summer, Domino’s launched an out-of-the-box marketing campaign to help fill up those pesky potholes, cracks and bumps staining American roads. “But, why would a pizza company have any interest in city maintenance?” Great question! According to Domino’s, bad roads cause damage to pizzas during delivery and the brand wanted to do something about it.

Starting this June, Domino’s began giving out $5,000 grants to randomly selected towns to fix their roads. While no data has come out yet on the campaign’s results, we can only hope other brands take up the cause and start giving our towns more free stuff. That’s something we’d all be thankful for.

We hope you enjoyed taking part in our highly sacred marketing campaign listicle tradition. Oh yeah, and from all of us at WhiteSpace, happy Thanksgiving!

Thinking about launching your own super awesome integrated marketing campaign? Get in touch and we’ll lend a hand.

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