Marketing Strategies: Which Ones are Most Profitable?

Learn about some of the most successful marketing campaigns from iconic brands like Nike & Pepsi! Discover how companies use promotional tools & influencers on social media.

Marketing Strategies: Which Ones are Most Profitable?

One of the most iconic examples of marketing campaigns is Nike's “Just Do It” campaign. Launched in 1988, the campaign involved professional and amateur athletes who shared their achievements and inspired viewers to do the same. The campaign's first television commercial featured an 80-year-old marathon runner named Walt Stack, a dedicated athlete who runs 17 miles every morning. After the campaign was launched, thousands of people presented personal stories about occasions when they decided to take the leap and “just do it”, from leaving their jobs stuck to losing more than a hundred pounds.

The line became Nike's emblematic slogan and continues to represent the brand. Nike identified an emotional connection with its audience and connected meaningful stories to its core values, such as motivation, inspiration and healthy living. Nike's decision to integrate the company's value proposition with an emotion-driven message resulted in a highly successful marketing campaign. During Super Bowl LIII, Pepsi premiered a TV commercial that people would keep talking about.

The “Is Pepsi OK?” commercial featured Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner Steve Carell, Grammy-nominated artist Cardi B, and Grammy winner Lil Jon in a fun and fun parody. In the ad, a waiter asks a diner who orders a Coca-Cola: “Is Pepsi okay?” and Carell clarifies in her monologue that Pepsi is “More than OK”. This ad reproduces the typical scenario where people ask for a line and the waiter assumes that Pepsi is not their first choice. The announcement included a halftime show sponsored by Pepsi, a “Planet Pepsi” after-party, limited-edition cans, and the Pepsi Rookie of the Year award.

The iconic brand took advantage of the most popular sporting event in the United States to start a conversation about why Pepsi is better than the average. The key to Pepsi's campaign success was self-awareness. The vendors took advantage of the real scenarios that their customers have in restaurants when they find their product. Every time a waiter asks a customer, “Is Pepsi okay?” the customer will inevitably link the statement to the overwhelmingly positive business and campaign message.

Few campaigns have leveraged influencer marketing as effectively as “Do you have milk?” of the California Milk Processors Board: Campaign? In 1993, a discussion group led by a partner at the San Francisco-based advertising company Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, called Jon Steel, asked respondents not to consume milk for a week before participating in the study. The study aimed to collect milk-related habits to help Steel present creative strategies to a new customer, the California Milk Processor Board. The participants discussed how it was important not to consume milk. How would they eat their cereal? What would they dip a cookie in? Why was life without milk so boring? The concept “Do you have milk?” revolved around the anguish you feel when you run out of milk.

This seemingly simple concept was reinforced by the links between celebrities and pop culture. The ad ran for more than two decades and ran about 70 ads in California alone and approximately 350 ads for milk mustaches nationally in print and television. The campaign took advantage of a time when celebrity influence was at an all-time high and, as a result, advertisements were especially visible and influential. The show “Got Milk?” creators used consumer research, simple copywriting, and influencer marketing to create a series of impactful ads.

Since the ad's customer was the California Milk Processor Board, it made sense to introduce Hollywood stars and celebrities. Soon, flaunting a milk mustache on a billboard became all the rage. People want to hear stories that matter, and Dove's “Real Beauty” campaign delivered a moving, authentic message that the beauty industry desperately needs. The Dove campaign for real beauty was launched in 2004 by Unilever with the aim of building self-confidence in women and children. The initial campaign included research and reported that only 2% of women consider themselves beautiful.

The next phase included a series of billboards starring real women instead of models. The campaign was well received and expanded to other media, promoting aging, body type diversity and transparency around wigs, imperfections and so-called “imperfections”. The mission of these ads was to highlight how harmful the beauty industry could be to young women and to redefine beauty. It's hard to forget a funny story. In this shocking example of a marketing campaign, Old Spice uses humor to attract its audience and position its brand as the best choice for men's hygiene products.

The original television commercial features a man and a 30-second monologue. In this video, actor Isaiah Mustafa - now known as “Old Spice Man” - speaks to a female audience and says: “Hello ladies! Look at your man now come back to me now come back to your man now come back to me... But if you stopped using feminine-scented body wash and switch to Old Spice you could smell like me!” It is presumptuous, exaggerated and direct in its delivery. The general reception of this announcement was positive; it increased brand awareness for Old Spice's selection of hygiene products for men. Students can explore the use of influencers on social media in COM 640 Integrating Digital Media, Mobile & Emerging Technologies course.

Companies develop marketing strategies to help develop brand identities, increase sales, and gain market share. Strategic approaches include an emphasis on promotional tools available to marketers; understanding how these tools work helps companies implement market strategies that increase profits.