Resolution Issue - 2016's Culture-Marketing Wins

LOOKING BACK ON 2016: THE CAMPAIGNS THAT MOVED MARKETING

By Jacob Marrero, Community & Research Manager at Matte Black

 

SPOTIFY SAID IT BEST: "thanks, 2016. It's been weird." 

BUT NOT ALL OF IT...

 

HINDSIGHT IS 20/20, SO WE TOOK SOME TIME DURING OUR TWO WEEK WINTER IN LA TO SNAG SOME OF 2016’S BEST CAMPAIGNS THAT SPAN MARKETING, SOCIAL MEDIA AND CULTURAL HUES. AS WE MARCH FORWARD INTO 2017, LET US FIRST TAKE A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE GOOD THAT CAME OUT OF 2016 FROM THE BRANDS THAT DID MARKETING RIGHT... 

 

Brand: The North Face

Campaign: #QuestionMadness

 

The Learning

The North Face really caught our attention in 2016. With a heavy focus on video content, The North Face’s #QuestionMadness campaign highlights unique athletes and their moments before glory. While we may associate the type of athlete that embarks on these quests as crazy, weird, or obsessed, The North Face presents a different perspective.

 

What do we take away from The North Face and their #QuestionMadness campaign? Be ballsy. Be very ballsy. The brand had the guts to question how you view their different communities and that achieving greatness comes with a cost.

 

BRAND: SONOS

CAMPAIGN: "You're better than this"

 

The Learning

Sonos overall had a solid year. Their website content is super relevant and they are using retail in creative yet profitable ways. Nothing is as memorable as their hilarious short commercials on why snagging a Sonos is so worth it. If you haven’t cut the cord yet, you should strongly reconsider.


What do we take away from Sonos? First, striking the balance of humor and information is going to propel your success. We could easily watch all their commercials over and over again because they were funny, short, and creative. Second, with their Sonos Studios site (linked above), Sonos flexes the creative streak behind the brand. They put their money where their mouth is and now move beyond just a speaker brand to an arts + culture cultivator. They are continually finessing what it looks like to respect the classics as well as stay innovative for an ever changing consumer. Third, they leverage retail like a rare sneaker drop, using a thought-out approach to retail through their pop-up shop. It wasn’t a cheesy throw some product in a cool retail space, but artistically displayed and used their product in a way that made you ask, “why the hell don’t I have a Sonos?” Best part, it created a culture point that is relevant to the growing consumer. As retail giants are slowly dying because of their commitments to one space, Sonos has adapted to creating the chase. Creating scarcity isn’t anything new, neither are pop-ups, but Sonos struck the perfect balance of product advertisement and art. Don’t be surprised if this model is taken on more and more by other manufactures.

 

BRAND: BURBERRY

CAMPAIGN: THE TALE OF THOMAS BURBERRY

 

The Learning

Burberry isn't the first to create a fake movie trailer (remember 'Run' by Jay-Z and Beyonce?), but it was one that everyone wished was real, and brought consumers back to the history of the iconic British brand. Burberry used a romantic story line, intense characters and well known actors to reinvigorate their brand story.

 

The movie trailer had over 14 million views on YouTube, 3.3 million on Facebook, pretty impressive coming from a fashion brand that is better known for it's iconic print than it's content creation. The most impressive takeaway from this campaign is that Burberry was able to get in front of an audience by using a form of content that people have known and loved for decades - the movie trailer. It's not something that can be repeated, but more so inspiring for brands who want to replicate it's creativity.

 

BRAND: Nike Women

CAMPAIGN: Margot vs. Lily

 

The Learning

Nike Women's Margot vs. Lily campaign dropped way back in January of 2016. It was the first we had seen of a brand actually producing a mini-series on YouTube. Each episode is filled with their product and it serves as a creative long form ad just as much as it does entertain.

 

What do we learn from Nike’s Better For It Campaign? You never know until you try it. This mini-series was definitely a risk as it requires a lot more budget than a traditional commercial without knowing how many people you might reach. Overall, the campaign received a super positive response because of how genuine it felt as a mini-series. However, it still couldn’t shake off the ad feel. We think Nike learned a lot from this experience and wouldn’t be surprised if they continue to invest in this type of longer content as video continues to grow with consumers. This type of untraditional content is what we wish we thought of it first. 

 

BRAND: VOLVO

CAMPAIGN: SOPHIE LIVE TEST

 

The Learning

Not normally known for creating out-of-the-box content, this was a fun surprise from Volvo. Is there some sort of person we can email to be in the next video? We’d love to know. A little breaking of the gender norms, who says trucks are only for boys, right? This video, featuring an adorable little girl named Sophie, had enough behind it to go viral and really show that Volvo had created a solid product. It drove through a house without losing a step!


What did we learn from Volvo? Who cares if you’re an established brand, you have to do something different if you want to reach new people. We appreciate the investment in having a lot of fun with an idea and without knowing what kind of outcome it will have. This type of content is appropriate for any age and background, especially if a Volvo truck is something you might need for your business. What better way to show it can handle the job by showing it rolling down a hill and keep driving? Way to get after it Volvo!


CONCLUSION

Brands are no longer just being innovative in the product they create, but in the way they connect with the younger generations. A lot of the strong campaigns we saw are reaching past boomers to millennials and gen z. If you haven’t even heard of Gen Z, here is a sweet report from Ziba, don’t sleep on them. They are highly intelligent and can sense a fake a mile away. Brands do amazing things, creating and selling products is not easy. So let people into that process. The seed of creating is starting to bloom in the younger generations who want to make this world their own. Brands have an amazing opportunity to help guide the next generation on what it looks like to build a world for themselves.


Here’s to 2017.