Top Marketing Wins of 2013

Listed below is an overview of the top marketing campaigns I see for 2013.  Great marketing has an opportunity to surprise people, capture their attention and truly engage them.  Achieving this is a tough endeavor but that is what makes marketing so interesting!  The true test will be if these marketing campaigns end up driving significant revenue for these brands but for now they successfully entertained, informed, empowered and engaged while not overtly selling to consumers


This 3 minute ad about women’s view of themselves has generated over 114M views making it the most viral video of all time.  What Unilever has done well with this ad is that they elicited a strong emotional response from viewers.  The ad got women to think about their own beauty (what their definition of beauty is), their self esteem and the impact that all of this has on others.  The other success factor here is that Unilever created good, compelling content that viewers wanted to share.  This ad was shared 3.74M times and was the 3rd most shared video of all time in addition to being the top record holder of share-to-view ratio (one share for every 30 views).


Personalized Coke Bottle




Coca-Cola launched a personalized share a coke campaign throughout Europe as part of a larger effort to double the company’s sales by 2020 and to own a disproportionate share of pop culture and consumer conversations.  The goal is to buy and share a Coke with their family, friends and loved ones, including posting pictures of themselves with a Coke bottle bearing the name of a friend.  The most popular names of each market can be found on Coca-Cola’s labels; the ‘chosen’ names are the ones that are commonly frequented thus placed in order to trigger specific emotions in consumers.  The campaign first started in Australia back in 2011, focusing on bringing consumers closer together and sharing a good time over a Coca-Cola.  It proved to be very successful increasing sales by 4%.  This Share A Coke With campaign is fully integrated and aims to reach 32 countries combining country specific TV ads with online media.   As part of the campaign, the brand will also be launching Share a Coke vending machines which consumers can personalize their very own Coca-Cola can or bottle.  A Facebook app is also included encouraging users to create a personalized virtual Coke can to share with their friends across social networks.  Coca-Cola is also using unusual ways to call attention to the campaign, such as live water projection of images at Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock.  To date there have been more than 72M likes on Facebook.  Coca-Cola has successfully touched people’s feelings by getting it’s customers to share a Coke with the friends they want.


When the lights went out during this year’s Super Bowl game, millions of TV viewers looked for something else to do during the 34 minutes of blackout.  Oreo’s executives/social media team and agency 360I quickly created, approved and tweeted this black-out ad, “You Can Still Dunk In The Dark.”  The ad generated more than 16K re-tweets and was seen by tens of thousands on Twitter.  Media praised Oreo for being one of the best Super Bowl ads.  The key to their success, having the Oreo executives, social media team and agency together in a war room watching the Super Bowl game as they creatively and quickly acted on an opportunity in real-time that was on brand.















The Chipotle’s The Scarecrow media campaign included an ad (only available on YouTube), iphone app and a burrito giveaway (activated by playing the app).  The video has generated over 11M views, the mobile game was downloaded 250K times in the first 4 days of  it’s release on the app store making it the top 15 free iOS app in the US, and the campaign has been subject to thousands more tweets, comments and blog posts (the majority are discussing Chipotle’s sustainable food reputation).  Chipotle’s success is due to a number of factors.  First, the message connects with viewers on an emotional level.  People can get behind this message (rebel call for a local food movement) and are enchanted by it’s stunning presentation.  Second, there is no overt selling in Chipotles ad/game, instead it tells the story the brand wants to tell.  And finally, the overall campaign upholds the value that Chipotle has embraced from the beginning; a passionate belief and thorough upholding of their “food with integrity” principles.  This reinforces their brand positioning every time someone sees the ad and/or play’s the game.


Volvo created an internet sensation with one of the most shared ads in 2013.  The ad features Jean-Claude Van Damme performing an epic split as two Volvo FM trucks are driven in reverse highlighting the power of Volvo’s dynamic steering.  Volvo’s goal for this ad was to create attention, inform and entertain audiences to pave the way for future advertising and sales campaigns in local markets.  Volvo wanted to illustrate the new dynamic steering model in a spectacular way and reach beyond traditional markets, targeting not only truck drivers but future truck drivers.  The video has been viewed over 57.5M times on YouTube with 246K Facebook likes being the most viewed auto campaign of all time.  Volvo found a clever way to get people to pay attention to this type of vehicle when most consumers usually don’t care or even think about it.  This was also a very cost effective way of creating a short clip that generated a Super Bowl sized audience for little to no money.


Snickers launched a search campaign that relied on people’s misspelling words in their Google searches.  The idea was that office workers couldn’t see the viral/social content because it was blocked by their IT departments.  Snickers got around the IT techies by purchasing ads for misspelled terms so when a searcher enters one into the search bar, he or she will see the Snicker’s ad.  To determine which words to purchase, Snickers applied an algorithm to a list of 500 commonly searched terms to create a list of more than 25K misspelled versions of those words.  When one of these misspelled searches is typed into Google, the following ad appears, re-directing consumers to






This was an innovative SEM campaign that depended on hundreds of thousands of typos in search terms used everyday in which people rely on search engines to correct for them.  It also brings the brand to the front page of more search terms which may not be directly related to the candy bar.  The strategy successfully placed ads in front of 500K people in three days of the launch with a 1.05% CTR (above expectations) bringing in 5,874 visitors to their specially branded website.  The campaign was successful in that is was designed to drive ad impressions and get the brand out their in a unique way (vs driving CTR).  Snickers found a unique tactic that could help the company reach a very large audience in a short amount of time while reaching it’s target market effectively through search marketing, ultimately increasing their revenue stream.


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