Two of our Favorite Successful Marketing Campaigns

May 4, 2016

Inbound or outbound? Relationship or experience? Content or social media? There are so many approaches to marketing, it’s no small wonder that businesses are confused about the best approach to successful marketing campaigns. But let us tell you a little secret: There is no “best” approach.

We’ve been analyzing successful marketing campaigns since we started our business. And we’d like to share with you some that are our favorites. Each of them, in their own outside-the-box way, achieved for the brand a level of positive exposure that is nothing short of impressive.

Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign

The campaign launched in 2004 with the tagline, “Imagine a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety.” Through research, the company had found that less than 4 percent of women consider themselves beautiful, so they set out to change that statistic. Their goal: To show women that beauty exists outside of the pages of fashion magazines, because trying to meet that artificial standard is pointless.

In 2013, for example, Dove launched “Real Beauty Sketches,” in which an FBI sketch artist drew two portraits of each woman, one where they described themselves, and one where someone else described them. The results were dramatic, with each woman seeing how critical they were of their own appearance as they saw themselves, for the first time, through the eyes of someone else. After Dove posted the videos, they were viewed more than 66 million times, shared on social media more than 3.7 million times, translated into 25 languages and viewed in more than 110 countries.

Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” launch

For decades, musicians had been under the control of the recording industry. They believed that talent needed the backing of a record label to succeed, but along came Radiohead, arguably the biggest band in the world at that time, and the balance of power was forever changed. The band’s seventh album, “In Rainbows,” was offered directly to fans through the band’s website with a surprising offer: Pay whatever you want for this record. It was the band’s biggest success to date, with more than 3 million downloads and more than $10 million in sales.

Both campaigns are examples of successful marketing, to be sure. But what’s more, they are examples of brands that disrupted their industries, and marketing today is all about disruption. You may not be a big beauty products behemoth or the biggest band in the world, but you can still find inspiration in what these disruptors achieved.