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The 6 Best Digital Marketing Campaigns of All Time

The 6 Best Digital Marketing Campaigns of All Time

Campaign

In the early days of the internet, a successful digital marketing campaign meant putting out some cool videos, along with some well-placed ads; today, that same campaign would have to not only have videos (and lots of videos, preferably), but also a strong social media component, carefully considered SEO strategy, strategic content, and PR mentions in media outlets and on popular blogs.

Today, of course, things are a bit more complicated. From higher customer expectations around things like transparency and authenticity to the global pandemic that’s upended the way we shop, communicate, and educate our kids, and more, succeeding in today’s digital landscape requires a whole new set of skills and tools. 

In need of some inspiration? Here are five of our favorite digital marketing campaigns—you may recognize some oldies but goodies!  

  1. Volkswagen’s The No Show Room

Interactivity is always a good way to take your digital marketing campaign to the next level, making it not only more fun for consumers to engage with, but also way more memorable. 

Customers might remember something funny, moving, or fascinating that they saw—but they’ll remember something they participated in or experienced much better. 

In this campaign, Volkswagen teamed up with the Swedish national ski team in order to create a live scavenger hunt, with clues hidden in their commercials. The company “hid” one of their Passat Alltracks deep in the frozen north of Sweden—no joke—and the first person to find it got to keep it. 

The clues came in the form of cameos from the ski team members, who were shown trekking through spots around the car’s hiding place. 

2. Apple’s Pandemic-Era Work-from-Home Thing

The pandemic has given rise to a whole new series of marketing campaigns designed around our new reality—the one in which we’re working, schooling, playing, and doing everything else from home. 

Apple’s long-form video ad does a great job of showing how crazy working from home can be, especially when you’re trying to organize a team around a new project. Like the best pandemic-era ads, this one embraces the messy reality we’re living in, and even gets in a few good laughs. 

3. Old Spice’s The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

If you’re like us, you remember where you were when you first saw this video. This campaign, which launched with this priceless gem and continues to this day, is still the reigning king of hilariously weird marketing. Somehow, it hits that sweet spot just between “awesome” and “totally insane.”

And the original video, which now has 52 million views on YouTube, was just the beginning. Social media profiles, additional commercials, the “Make a Smellmitment” tagline on their website – all come together to form a seamlessly integrated digital presence. Old Spice even created a Choose Your Own Adventure game on Instagram, further marking this brand’s digital marketing campaign as one for the ages.

4. Oreo’s social media campaigns

Starting in 2013, Oreo ruled social media. One of the reasons they succeeded so well is the incredible speed with which the brand is able to put out tweets, posts, images, and more, starting with their famous “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet that they sent out during the 2013 Superbowl power outage. According to AdAge, that tweet was conceived, designed, and approved within minutes.

The combination of this up-to-the-minute cultural relevancy with their fun – bordering on whimsical – the tone has proven a winner in the social media sphere. Just look at their ongoing campaign, Wonderfilled, to see what we’re talking about.

5. Always’ “Like a Girl” campaign

Is there anyone who didn’t tear up during this video? Showing how girls’ confidence takes a nosedive once they hit puberty, Always’ commercial launched the company’s massive efforts to help teach confidence to girls and young women through a variety of means.

They partnered with TED to create a series of educational videos on confidence that will be shared with teachers and students worldwide and even created the Always Confidence Curriculum, which was unveiled at the Always #LikeAGirl Confidence Summit in 2014. Meanwhile, the company continued to push out short, inspiring messages via the hashtag #LikeAGirl.

Motivational, authentic, potentially world-changing: that’s a win for any campaign in our book.

6. Chipotle’s “Scarecrow” and “Back to the Start” videos

Chipotle’s made its name not just by serving seriously delicious burritos, but by putting its commitment to responsible food first and foremost in its marketing. This commitment was first introduced to the world – on a large scale, at least – in their first-ever TV ad buy, a 2012 animated commercial that showed a farmer rebelling against the factory farming system and taking his farm back to basics – “back to the start.”

The video created a huge response, earning Chipotle legions of new fans and online brand ambassadors who related to Chipotle’s “food with integrity” tagline. The brand’s latest venture into video marketing is an animated short called “The Scarecrow,” which spawned its own social game.  

Feeling inspired to take your own marketing to the next level? Contact us today – we’d love to get started on your next “best ever” digital marketing or digital PR campaign!

ABOUT SHAMA HYDER

She is the founder & CEO of Zen Media. She has been named the “Zen Master of Marketing” by Entrepreneur Magazine and the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by FastCompany.com. Forbes, Businessweek, and Inc have all recognized her as one of the Top 30 under 30 entrepreneurs in the field of marketing. Shama has built a global audience and is known for helping brands succeed in the digital age. She is a bestselling author, an international keynote speaker, and has been named one of LinkedIn’s Top 10 Voices in Marketing for four years in a row. Learn More

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