Make your campaigns memorable

Holly Emberson

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Have you ever been lying in bed trying to sleep when an old advertising jingle pops into your head? Perhaps some words, images or even phrases are now irreversibly linked with some piece of marketing. It might be from your childhood. It might be recent. It might be something you genuinely enjoyed or… it might not.

Marketing is like magic. Without realising it, even campaigns that we ignore – or abhor – can plant a seed in our consciousness for years to come. Perhaps a lifetime.

How, then, can we create this magic? There are certain key things we can prioritise when building your marketing that help achieve this same memorable effect.

Emotion

Emotion works. That’s the bottom line. Whether it’s a film, book, or marketing campaign, emotional engagement is a vital ingredient of staying memorable. According to a 2016 Nielsen study, advertising with an above average emotional response generated a 23% increase in sales compared to those without.

What can that look like? Here’s the good news: anything

Emotional marketing doesn’t just mean soppy advertising that tugs at your heart strings. It means re-examining our stories and finding a fresh way to tell them.

For example, imagine an energy company wants to share that they are investing in renewable sources – something that is a huge appeal for many consumers. We might think the right choice is to share statistics, savings figures, focus on the customer… and these often are a sound tactic.

What if you threw all that advice out the window and did something unusual? Could you make that campaign memorable? Perhaps even moving?

Well, that’s what Epuron did in 2007 – to huge acclaim, even winning awards at Cannes.

Watch it here.

This is a quote from the creative/directing collective (called “The Vikings”) who produced this ad:

As creatives and directors, we think that creativity plays a huge role in creating a brand, in determining how people feel about it. Brands that speak to consumers in an unusual way, that respect their intelligence, or appeal to their sense of humour are the ones we all remember most.

Speaking about sense of humour…

Being funny

Introducing humour into your marketing should be a no-brainer. Laughter – or even just a wry smile – creates an instant pleasurable association. If it’s particularly clever, your audience might even share it around, adding an extra organic element.

Why, then, is it not the norm? Because it’s a fine line. Brands all have their own distinct personalities (at least in theory). What works for one could be actively harmful with another brand. At its worst, humour can make a business seem out of touch or even malicious.

When done properly though, humour is memorable and something we want to share. This is especially true of B2C marketing – a report by Clutch, a research and reviews firm, found that humour was the most valued characteristic of an ad, trumping all other factors like usefulness and relatability.

At their best, a humorous ad can be simple and convey your entire proposition in mere seconds – all while raising a smile. Here’s an ad for shoe polish:

Here’s another for mouthwash:

These are all consumer-facing. What about B2B? This is all well and good for products like mouthwash and shoe polish – which might lend themselves to a light-hearted, even cheeky, approach. Is this really something we could do in an industry like agriculture? How, exactly, can you find the fun in something like fertiliser?

Well, according to Bureau Loos, a Dutch agency, like this:

Is it controversial? Does it undermine the product’s clout in the marketplace? Of course not. But this ad is one of those ideas that’s so obvious in hindsight – what if the veins on a leaf looked like a ripped six-pack? – that it conveys the full power of the fertiliser and its potential value for their audience.

All while making you smile. Not bad. That’s the kind of thing that sticks in your mind.

Remember the purple cow

In our recent blog, we talked about the “purple cow” concept in marketing, and how it allows your product, service, or business to stand apart from the crowd. This isn’t just about grabbing attention. It’s about shaping the way we see the world. It’s about telling a story that is so impactful – whether visually, experientially, or through copy – that we can’t help but remember.

Here’s a perfect example of the purple cow effect featuring, appropriately, a purple cow.

Milka launched their first chocolate bar in Switzerland in 1901. In 1972, Milka adopted a lilac cow as their new brand symbol, which it has remained as ever since.

This branding is so consistent, unique, and outright memorable. In a recent art competition in southern Germany, 40,000 children were asked to draw a picture of a cow. Almost a third of them painted theirs purple, just like the Milka cow.

After decades, Milka has achieved what all brands aim to do: reshape the way we perceive the world and become part of reality. This is a beautiful thing. For the brand, they’re part of the mental and social fabric. When someone in those territories thinks of chocolate, they think of Milka. For those children, they live in a world where – at least for a little while – they can believe that cows are purple.

As famous industrial designer Dieter Rams says:

Good design is making something intelligible and memorable. Great design is making something memorable and meaningful.

Ready to dig deeper and let your brand thrive? Get in touch.

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