We have all heard the adage, "A picture is worth a thousand words," but that rings true, especially in the world we live in today. The average attention span of a buyer has shortened substantially partly because they are inundated with hundreds of ads every day. Ads in an elevator, sure. Commercials at the gas pump, why not? Advertisements in public restrooms, heck yeah! So, with millions of messages hitting your target audience daily, how do you stand out? Well, storytelling through creative messaging and visuals is one of the best ways to connect with your audience and leave a lasting impression. The most successful brands have mastered this technique, so take a few lessons from the experts' playbook to craft a message with emotional appeal. Some of these campaigns are oldies but goodies, and a few were viral sensations even before TikTok existed!
Apple is known for its storytelling approach to marketing. The "Shot on iPhone" campaign asked users worldwide to submit their best photos using the hashtag #ShotoniPhone. Apple then selected photos to display globally across media outlets and over 10,000 billboards. The campaign aimed to get people to talk about the new iPhone through user-generated content and showcase the camera's capabilities, all while telling diverse and personal stories through images.
2. Emotional Appeal:
Coca-Cola's "Share a Coke" campaign way back in 2011 personalized their bottles with individual names, encouraging people to share a Coke with someone special. They replaced "Coca-Cola" from one side of the bottle and printed individual names on Coke bottles and cans to create an emotional connection to the brand and a sense of community for Coke lovers worldwide. The campaign was estimated to increase category market share by 2% to 4% in markets like the U.S. and Australia.
3. Visual Branding:
Very few people in the world aren't familiar with Nike's iconic swoosh logo and "Just Do It" slogan. They have become synonymous with the brand. But why does it work so well? The logo is simple, versatile, symbolic, bold, and emotionally appealing, while the short tagline makes you want to go out and climb a mountain (or at least run to the end of the block).
4. Brand Personality:
How can you not love a little green gecko speaking with a British accent? And, of course, Geico's "15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance" tagline is impossible to forget. The character adds a personality to the brand. Let's face it: the insurance business is highly competitive, but that little green guy is too cheeky to ignore.
5. Absolutely Unique:
Absolut Vodka's ad campaign made its bottle the most recognizable in the world. Its campaign, which showed bottles "in the wild," was so successful that it ran for 25 consecutive years, making it the longest uninterrupted ad campaign ever with over 1,500 separate ads. When the campaign started, Absolut had a paltry 2.5% of the vodka market, but when it ended, Absolut was importing 4.5 million cases per year or half of all imported vodka in the U.S.
While the brands in this blog are all household names, you don't have to be an immediately recognizable name to make your creative work for you. Whether you’re a non-profit, a B2B, or a start-up, the first thing you have to get right is why you do what you do and what makes you unique. You can't tell the "how" unless you know the "why". So, determine your unique value proposition and then inject personality, humor, emotion, or all of the above. But most importantly, tell your individual story and let your audience know what makes your brand tick.
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