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Best Marketing Campaigns of 2018 to Get you Inspired

Feb 22, 2019 11:20:00 AM

2018 was a year of change, a year when everything moved just a little bit faster and just a little bit further the limits of traditional beliefs.

Marketing campaigns were no exception to the rule.

Throughout 2018 marketers had the opportunity to explore new worlds and ideas through creativity and strategy to, once again, appeal to their audiences with a beautifully crafted content.

We currently live in a fast-paced society whose audiences ask for every bit of information right away, no matter where they are or what they're doing. An audience claims their right to be visually appealed with the content they're searching.

Innovation, creativity, and effectiveness are words any brand and its marketing team must live day after day.

An effective marketing strategy is a constant battle between the arts, the needs of the brand, and how fast things can be accomplished. One element cannot live without the other, at least in the marketing world.

I get you! Sometimes, as a marketer, you don't know where to go.

Your client has given you the opportunity to shine through this new fantastic campaign, you love the brand and you want to do your best, and you must deliver ASAP. (Talk about arts, brand needs, and agility again)

So, what do you do?

Well, my best piece of advice? Take a moment, breath, drink some water, and see what the big guys in the media business are doing to keep themselves at the top. (After all, that's what we're reaching for, aren't we?)

So, following my advice, sit back, read through and get some inspiration (and ideas) from the best marketing campaigns of 2018.

1. Stabilo - Highlight the Remarkable


2018 was a remarkable year for women.

The feminism battle continued making its way, gaining respect, admiration, awareness, and applauses all over the world. Mid through 2018, the German pen-makers, Stabilo, joined in recognizing the greatness in women and became influencers on the matter by releasing this wonderfully crafted campaign in which they decided to make justice for women who did remarkable things throughout their lives but never received the proper recognition.

Most of these times being the reason that they were behind...men.

The ads were released in the German language. However, they were later on translated to English since the campaign was nominated for the 2018 International Festival of Creativity Cannes Lions.

Each piece of this genius campaign presents a historical, black-and-white photo with a yellow highlighter stripe exposing one "remarkable" woman and her successes.

The ladies featured in this campaign are:

1- Stabilo


  • Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician
  • Edith Wilson, U.S. First Lady
  • Lise Meitner, Austrian-Swedish physicist

The agency behind this campaign is DDB, located in Düsseldorf and they confirmed that since the marketing effort was a total hit, they are planning on releasing new pieces any time soon!What a strike for women empowerment!

2. IHOP - IHOb

Back in June 2018, the famous American pancake chain announced they would change their name to IHOb. Reactions did not make themselves wait!

Long-life advocates of the brand were in total shock about serious changes happening inside what many would call "a second home." Many of them posted pictures and messages in social media as a result of the "tragic" event.

However, not that much time later, IHOP revealed that "IHOb" would be a temporary name since they were issuing a line of burgers (and, precisely, the "B" stood for BURGERS!")

"We are definitely going to be IHOP, but we want to convey that we are taking our burgers as seriously as our pancakes." declared Darren Rebelez, president of IHOP.

And luckily they did go back to IHOP! Since 1958 IHOP has been a tradition for families throughout the United States. I'm sure their loyal customers would not have appreciated being taken their memories away.

They did prove IHOP is a thing for Americans. Talk about brand awareness and social media response!

3. OKCupid - DTF3 - OKCupid

OKCupid is certainly not the first that comes to your mind when talking about "dating apps." However, their marketing team seems to be working very diligently on it.

"In this era of rapidness you either step up and change, or you step out," and I'm sure this campaign was created with that as its motto.

OKCupid took a classical term used upon young women to define their marital status as "Down to Fuck" (DTF) and transformed it into a game of words describing random situations someone in the dating app might be "down to."

This campaign gained attention in a very quick manner since it conveyed all elements of an excellent visual piece. However, not all people were so happy about it. Over social media channels, some users expressed their discontent with the overall message of the media marketing campaign.

Not long after the campaign was released, Melissa Hobley, OKCupid's CMO made declarations about what they were looking for when releasing this campaign: "Some dating apps put the focus on the photo, but our users are interested in getting below the surface. Subverting the meaning of DTF lets them do just that. Empowering our users to define DTF for themselves, and helping them connect over their shared preferred Fs, takes away the negativity and makes DTF something you actually want to see in a message."

4.  LinkedIn - What are you in it for?2 Linkedin

"Why do you commute several hours every day, take that extra class in the evening, pick up a side hustle, and go out of the way to help an old colleague? Something drives you" declares LinkedIn's vice president of brand marketing and corporate communications, Melissa Selcher, on LinkedIn's official blog, when talking about the campaign "What are you in it for?"

The campaign was released during 2018 Golden Globes' Sunday, and it did come as a surprise for many since LinkedIn is not much of the type to create such huge ads for traditional media.

The ad marked LinkedIn's departure from depicting the traditional "white collar" profile to a more diverse and open perception of LinkedIn.

The campaign was supported by many other audiovisual pieces in which not-so-traditional LinkedIn users were depicted such as dancers, DJ's, mixed martial arts professionals and indeed, some white collar workers as well.

5. Billie - Project Body Hair

Project Body Hair by Billie

The video ad starts by depicting a woman's hairy legs and proceeds to break your mind about everything you thought you'd see in a women's razor traditional ad by showing several women displaying body hair in places you usually don't see it, at least in the media.

I loved the way they mixed the short clips of women of all sizes, races and body hair colors with messages such as "Hair, everyone has it, even women. The world pretends it doesn't exist, but it does" closing that POWERFUL statement with a sarcastic "we checked" which completely blows your mind!

One of the best parts of this video ad is that it came in a timely manner. Currently, it is a crucial moment in women's history in which traditional media and content marketing are playing an essential role by rewriting the role women play in society and the rules they live by day after day (or not).

"The beauty industry has typically celebrated hairless, glossy, airbrushed women. Our goal was to push against these stereotypes and not only show women with body hair but do it in a super beautiful and celebratory way." declares Ashley Armitage, photographer of "Project Body Hair."

Kudos to Billie for marking a before and after in the female's grooming industry!

Ladies, remember "However, whenever, if ever."

6. Smirnoff - Equalizer

"In 2017, 100% of top streamed tracks were performed by men artists. We're missing out on so many good tunes by women" reads the introductory statement of the Smirnoff Equalizer's website.

What's the "equalizer" anyway?

Well...long story short, Smirnoff and Honey Dijon were moved to shake things up in the music industry, they sat, thought and came up with a way to equal the tunes by men and women you listen every day. With the success of artists like Camila Cabello, Ariana Grande, Cardi B, Taylor Swift, among others, it's horrifying to think that no female artists were topping the charts.

Smirnoff and Honey Dijon teamed up with Spotify to create a software that gathers insights from your music app usage and analyzes your preferences to later on give you as a result how much percent women and men artists are you listening to, followed by the option to EQUALIZE your tunes and bringing in more women or men, depending on the case.

"I just think its really great when you have... corporations like Spotify and Smirnoff that are becoming more aware of the lack of inclusively of women.I think giving those people voices and the chance to be seen and heard is what's going to make the difference. I think what's most important about this is to have the visibility to allow people to feel that they can do this and that their gender won't restrict them from being a part of it. Music is better when everyone is involved." declared Dijon on the official promotional video for the campaign.

Even though many people didn't understand the point of the campaign and accused Smirnoff of "trying to obligate them into listening to female artists," the equalizer was a success, gained thousands of followers and was granted awards in the gender equality field. (And gave people examples of great musicians, as well)

Way to move the industry, Smirnoff!

7. SpaceX take a Tesla Roadster into space

"Of course, anything boring is terrible, especially companies, so we decided to send something unusual, something that made us feel." declared Elon Musk on the decision to launch Tesla to space.

Elon Musk is a fan of making things out of the box and shocking the media business, but he indeed went out of this world for this marketing campaign (literally).

Back in early 2018, in an attempt to promote the launch of the first Falcon Heavy Rocket by SpaceX, Elon Musk decided to launch "something unusual, something that made us feel" like he said himself.

But, it didn't stop there! The Tesla gained enough speed to escape earth's gravity and entered into space, now being further than the orbit or Mars, according to SpaceX.

They decided to launch a mannequin dressed as an astronaut occupying the driver's seat in a Tesla Roadster serving as boilerplate! How cool is that?

Well, that's what happens when marketers go out of this world! (No pun intended)

8. Weight Watchers - DJ Khaled

Diet companies and gymnasiums are especially famous at the beginning of the year, that's a critical period when people decide to make radical changes in their lives. They must act quickly to not lose momentum and gain new advocates to their companies.

Weight Watchers knows this as a pure fact, and at the beginning of 2018 when everything people wanted to do was to lose some weight off the fun holidays that just left them with more than their usual pair of jeans can take, Weight Watchers decided to ally with a well-recognized musical entity who was on a mission himself.

DJ Khaled, with approximately 4 million followers on his twitter account at the time, was Weight Watchers ambassador and shared his journey to losing pounds off his body through his social channels.

The real spice of this campaign came when DJ Khaled shared his results through social media! Right after sharing, Weight Watchers shares went up as much as 7.3 percent on the following days.

Companies like Weight Watchers are the perfect fit to work with Influencer Marketing since they offer services that appeal to a specific target audience and should be seen put in practice for best results.

Weight Watchers had a marketing strategy, DJ Khaled lost some weight, became an influencer marketing icon and many of his followers got fit as well. It's a win-win!

Inspiring, isn't it? Whether you're planning to release a line of burgers or launching your first rocket to space, you've got to see what the big guys are doing to meet their success formula and please their audience.

Sometimes it might feel very hard to build a content marketing strategy from scratch due to the fact/feeling that many things have been already done in the media business.

Don't limit yourself to traditional media! Make a google search and take some time to discover some user-generated content (maybe a blog post?), influencers within the field whose social media marketing assets looks in place or any marketing examples you can find online. Take a notebook, write down your ideas and any take away from a specific piece and I promise your mind will wander and eventually, your next big campaign will be on its way!

I really hope you gained some inspiration and ideas out of these great marketing examples that will for sure mark 2018 as one of the years in which marketing helped lead the way to a more open and modern society on earth.

Still not inspired enough? Well...sometimes you just need an expert's help. We can help you, click here and discover how you and your company can reach the audience you want, strategize and create marketing efforts that'll drive more revenue and customer engagement to your brand by making the most out of traditional media platforms and social media channels, you name it, we do it!

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