3 Marketing Campaigns I Wish I’d Run (And A Surprise Runner Up)

Jealousy isn’t an attractive trait, but there are a few marketers out there who I genuinely envy for the campaigns they have run. Some of these campaigns are big budget, and others you won’t have heard of, but they all share something in common – they’ve made life a little bit better for the people they’re speaking to.

RUSH Hair
As a relatively new mum who doesn’t get out a lot, I consider my bathroom products to be compensation for the lack of nights out. They’re pricey, but they make me feel good in the 6 minutes and 40 seconds that I get to myself each day. I try to save money on these products by buying them online – my hair products are from RUSH, the hairdressers. RUSH has been clever and diversified from their salon business by selling the products usually only reserved for the experts, from their online store.

That’s not the only clever part. I was impressed and grateful when, approximately two weeks before my shampoo ran out, RUSH sent me an email with an offer to buy more. A coincidence? Not seven bottles later. RUSH is using customer data (in this case, buying patterns) to inform their marketing campaigns (in this case, email marketing), to maximise sales. It’s achievable even for a small business, to get to know the customer and use the insights to communicate better with them. RUSH has achieved what someone once described to me as “the holy grail of marketing” – when the customer is left feeling “how nice of them to think of me”.

RUSH

Channel 4
The 2012 Paralympic Games saw unprecedented numbers of viewers as Olympic fever took hold here in the host nation. Four years later, when Channel 4 won the bid to show the 2016 Paralympics, they faced a harder battle to attract viewers, particularly given the four-hour time difference between us and the action in Brazil. The TV station drew in large audiences thanks in part to a ground-breaking advert that featured more disabled people than had ever been seen in a TV ad before. By featuring disabled members of the public alongside Paralympic athletes, the ad celebrated the amazing achievements of everyday people with a variety of impairments. This campaign won’t just have resulted in more people being inspired by the athletes, it encouraged diversity in the advertising industry and ultimately encouraged change in society’s attitude about disabled people. Any marketing campaign should focus on the people who matter, and by being bold, marketing can do so much more than generate sales, it can change minds.

Newcastle Coffee Festival
Huge thanks to lovely Debbie Stokoe from Social Butterfly Communications for sharing this great example with me. Whereas Café Nero has made a fortune from its well-loved loyalty cards, the independent cafes of Newcastle turned the concept on its head for their inaugural Newcastle Coffee Festival. At this event, customers were encouraged to pay for a disloyalty card, the proceeds of which went to charity, and in return, they could get one free coffee from eight different places in town. It encouraged coffee lovers to try new places, supported a sense of community between all the businesses and helped two great charities. It’s a simple concept that would work really well across a range of industries.

Newcastle Coffee Festival

This Girl Can
For those who know me, it may be a shock that I would give this empowering campaign the wooden spoon. This Girl Can has attracted over 37 million people to watch their inspirational video on YouTube, and claim to have got 1.6 million women back into sport. It was a ground-breaking advert, but the reason it fell short for me was that there was no clear call to action. Purely anecdotally, very few of the women I’ve spoken to knew that Sports England were behind the campaign. Fewer still realised there was a corresponding website filled to the brim with information about local sports facilities and clubs, for those moved to act. The lesson for every organisation I work with is to remember the action you want people to take, and ensure your campaign is driving that response.