A lot happened in digital marketing in 2021. From Shoppable posts to AI-automation, there’s so much to keep up with for marketers. To help you out, we’ve created a list of some of the best digital campaigns of the year. As well as everything you need to know about the different campaigns, you can also see how you can replicate their successes in your own digital marketing efforts.
Let’s get started!
1. Adobe – Create What’s True To You
In 2021, Adobe partnered with singer Billie Eilish to create a digital marketing campaign that’s all about creating. Adobe is a computer software company that offers a variety of apps, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro. The campaign aimed to spark engagement and grow brand awareness of the Adobe Creative Cloud – a set of applications and services for video editing, graphic design, photography, and web development users can subscribe to.
The target audience of the campaign was young creators, from students to hobbyists and professionals. After the success of the first collaboration with Billie Eilish, where they achieved 29M video views and secured 550% of expected new product trials, it makes sense why they wanted to replicate the initial campaign’s success. The ‘Create what’s true to you’ campaign’s slogan is ‘turn your “what-ifs” into reality with Adobe Creative Cloud’. It launched alongside a video of Billie Eilish explaining her creative process by asking a series of ‘what-if’ questions.
Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever music video was also created using Adobe Creative Cloud. She also directed the project herself, showcasing to the target audience the potential of the applications for creative expression. Clearly Adobe wants to show that anyone can use the tools that the world’s biggest stars use themselves.
- Highlight USPs
- Connect with your target audience
- Speak the same language as your customers.
Not every brand can partner with the world’s biggest influencers, unfortunately. However, there’s plenty to learn from this campaign for every brand, whatever industry they’re in or the target audience they have. Why Adobe’s campaign works is it clearly demonstrates its unique selling points and speaks the same language as its audience. As a marketer, doing this is the best way to secure results from your campaign.
What makes Adobe’s products unique is they inspire creativity and are accessible for everyone. These selling points are interwoven throughout every part of the campaign, from the video with Billie Eilish explaining her creative process to the tutorials promoted on their site. The campaign shows what users can do with the tools; how Adobe can benefit them. It relates to its audience.
Whenever you’re designing a campaign, put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. Why would they be interested in your products or services? What inspires them? What captures their attention and imagination? Adobe did this through a campaign that shows how anyone can create using their tools, how can you do this for your brand?
2. IKEA- Pinterest Quiz
IKEA’s iconic 200-page catalogue is filled to the brim with endless interior design possibilities. In today’s modern world, however, many of IKEA’s customers are using social media for inspiration, so much so, IKEA decided to retire its iconic catalogue back in December of 2020. IKEA partnered with Pinterest to bring the print version to social media, as well as placing it on their own website too.
Alongside the Pinterest version, IKEA launched a shoppable version of their catalogue complete with an interactive product questionnaire. Built directly into Pinterest, it learns user preferences and builds personalised user boards, as well as curating board and product recommendations.
- Use the right social channels
- Personalise user experiences
- Make things simple
Social media has become the go-to destination for people looking for interior design inspiration. As the market leader in home furniture, it makes sense for IKEA to tap into the potential goldmine on offer through social media. However, it would be no use running a campaign on LinkedIn, for example, as people don’t use the channel for interior design inspiration. Whereas Pinterest is where a lot of IKEA’s target customers will search for creative new ideas, saving pictures on boards to come back to later.
When setting out your campaign’s strategy, analyse what channels your target audience use. You can have a message that sparks their curiosity, but if they don’t hear it there’s no chance it will lead to a conversion. Uncover where your target audience spends their time online. From there, you can work backwards to create a message that fits the channel and resonates with your ideal customer.
3. Spotify – Everywhere
Memes are a lot of things; funny, simple, relatable are three adjectives that spring to mind. However, they’re also a cultural reference point for many people in a certain generation. Spotify has tapped into this phenomenon by making memes the main focus of their Everywhere marketing campaign.
Using the ‘Me, Also Me’ meme, Spotify created a range of images that showcased how the streaming service has music for every mood. The campaign also features three promotional videos, the campaign aims to connect with their audience through humour. In Couch, we see how someone might enjoy the Mellow Morning playlist on a lazy day.
- Be memorable
- Speak how your audience speaks
- Be relatable
Popular culture is dominated by memes, they’ve become a way for people to communicate and even interpret world events. Spotify has utilised memes in this campaign to relate to its audience in a way that sticks in their mind. As part of your brand’s digital marketing efforts, you don’t have to use memes, but you should create messaging that speaks the same language and resonates with your audience.
The campaign is also successful because it sticks in the mind. One way it does this is by highlighting broad experiences everyone can relate to, such as planning to go to the gym in the morning but having a lay-in instead. Think of your target audience’s pain points, maybe your brand’s product or service will solve them. Showcasing how you do this in your marketing campaign helps your brand stick in the mind and engages your ideal customer’s attention.
4. Pepsi – Better With Pepsi
A massive promotion in the US, Pepsi’s Better With Pepsi campaign launched alongside a virtual restaurant. Customers could select their favourite Pepsi drink and see what the best food pairing was, they could then order the meal and drink delivered straight to their home. The main bulk of the campaign was 8 adverts showing how Pepsi goes better with burgers, launched in time for national hamburger day in the US.
Taking aim at their biggest competitor Coke, Pepsi partnered with fast-food chains to showcase how it should be the go-to beverage whenever someone orders fast food. By collaborating with big names Mcdonalds, Burger King, and Wendys, the campaign was always going to reach a lot of eyeballs. However, incorporating the iconic logos and mascots from the three chains helps put Pepsi at the front of people’s minds whenever they’re making an order.
- Look at competitors
- Find a unique angle
- Relate to your audience
It’s not the first time Pepsi has taken a swipe at Coke. The brand targeted its main rival in a funny super bowl advertisement a few years ago too. This time, however, they commissioned a study that showed 60% of participants preferred Pepsi over Coke when paired with various fast foods in a blind taste test. The campaign aimed to make people think of Pepsi when ordering fast food.
Brand recall is when a person thinks of a brand in specific scenarios. Pepsi achieved this through a unique campaign that incorporates other famous brands to create a lasting impression. If you can associate your brand with a common situation, you can drive conversions. Another simple takeaway is to analyse your competitors. How are you unique to them? Promote this to your target audience to stand out.
5. Guinness – Welcome Back
In a year that unfortunately started with a lockdown in the UK, it made sense that many marketing campaigns focused on welcoming people back during the summer months. It’s hard to think of a brand that did this better than Guinness. Using a simple advert, the brand appealed directly to its target audience and inspired feelings of nostalgia, positivity, and anticipation.
Throughout the short video, the camera flashes to quiet scenes. A washing line, two friends chatting in the park, and a garage door, to name only a few. Under the surface, it’s clear to see imagery that immediately conjures a pint of Guinness. These quiet moments are then juxtaposed with a vibrant ending scene in a pub with friends laughing and enjoying a drink.
- Inspire emotions
- Keep it simple
- Talk to your ideal customer
Emotions are powerful. With the right imagery, you can stir up positive feelings that leave a lasting impression of your brand. Guinness does this by keeping things simple. In the short video – under a minute long – there’s a clear narrative that’s easy to follow for anyone. As part of your campaigns, you should always make sure your message is straightforward. When marketing is simple to follow, you have more of a chance to make an impression and secure a conversion.
Bright Design Digital Marketing Agency
We’ve had our own successful digital marketing campaigns at Bright Design in 2021. Our brand new website took hours of brainstorming and crafting, but we’re more than proud of the outcome. Our team has also created a variety of digital marketing campaigns that have brought great success to a variety of our client partners.