Most ads make you want to change the channel, turn the page or click the ‘skip’ button. But every now and then, some of the more creative advertisers and agencies pull a rabbit out their hat. They throw together a marketing campaign with just the right amount of flair, entertainment, innovation, education and excitement. Sadly for all of us in the Land of Oz, many of these campaigns are produced for, and aired during, the big American sporting bonanza: the Super Bowl. So, we have decided to give a shout out to the top campaigns us Aussies were privy to in 2013. The following are in no particular order.
Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches
Dove set about conducting a social experiment in 2013. Part of Dove’s long-term ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ marketing program, the objective of the experiment was to prove to women that they are more beautiful than they believe.
Ogilvy employed Gil Zamora, an FBI-trained sketch artist for the ground-breaking campaign (Gil’s usual day-job involves sketching wanted criminals, as described by eye witnesses). For this campaign, Gil (who could not see his subjects) first drew portraits of women according to the description they provided themselves. Then, he drew portraits of the same women, according to descriptions given by strangers. The differences between the portraits were astonishing, with the stranger’s portrait invariably more flattering and more accurate. The differences created strong reactions when shown to the women.
The campaign included a short documentary and four films documenting women’s reactions to the portraits. The films were released on 14 April 2013 and went viral; just four days later, the three minute film had been downloaded 7.5 million times. By 21 April, the films had more than 15 million views between them.
Metro’s Dumb Ways to Die
Eat a tube of super glue. Use a clothes dryer as a hiding place. Make your private parts into piranha bait. If you haven’t already seen it, these are just some of the dumb ways to die that feature in Metro’s cute, but really quite macabre, campaign. Designed by advertising agency McCann, the public service announcement campaign from Melbourne’s Metro Trains promoted rail safety.
The lynchpin of the campaign was a super-catchy song with lyrics by John Mescall and music by Ollie McGill from The Cat Empire. The song described all manner of stupid ways to die, focused on walking across train tracks and standing too close to the edge of train station platforms. To accompany the song, there was a cast of super-cute cartoon dudes, with their heads on fire (or completely chopped off). The campaign also included a website, an app, a Tumblr and a game.
The video went viral. It received almost 57 million views and 3.8 million shares. In July 2013, almost seven months after its release, it was still the fourth most shared ad. Not surprisingly, this was the most awarded campaign ever at Cannes.
We know this campaign was launched in November 2012, but it really didn’t gain momentum until early this year. And it was just so damn cute and catchy that we couldn’t help but include it in our list.
Devondale’s Soy After Taste Face
If you haven’t seen the ad, watch it now. If it doesn’t make you giggle, then nothing will.
The two part campaign for Devondale’s Fast Start breakfast drinks quite accurately portrayed the physical revulsion caused by mistakenly drinking soy milk. Created by DDB Melbourne, one of the ads featured a father whose daughter thinks he doesn’t like her painting (only because he is pulling a disgusted face after drinking soy milk). The second ad featured a husband whose wife thinks he hates the idea of having kids (only because he is pulling a disgusted face after drinking soy milk). The TV ads were supported by POS and outdoor ads.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any astounding statistics to go with this one. It’s definitely a laugh a minute though.
What other Australian marketing campaigns stood out for your in 2013?
Thanks Sally for this great recap of some of the most impactful marketing campaigns of 2013.
About Sally Wood
Having worked in marketing, communications and public relations roles for over ten years, Sally’s past life includes a plethora of activities, some of which even she can’t believe she was lucky enough to try her hand at. There was the development and implementation of internal communication programs for burly construction contractors; PR campaigns to launch The Simpson’s products (which just happened to involve carting life-sized Simpson figures around the country); people (and media) wrangling at Flemington’s birdcage for high-profile clients during the Melbourne Cup Carnival; CSR program design, implementation and GRI-accredited reporting; and, most recently, copywriting and internal stakeholder relations in a most serious corporate environment. Somehow, in the midst of all that, she also managed to get stuck into some study, undertaking a Bachelor of Arts / Law, completing a Postgraduate Bachelor of Letters in Public Relations and Journalism and recently starting an MBA.
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