8 highly successful ad campaigns
The most catchy slogans don’t just stay in your head; they can also change the way you perceive the advertised product. Good advertising persuades you to buy the advertised product or service. But a very successful advertising campaign solidifies a new slogan and becomes a cultural reference.
This is the ultimate goal of marketers when crafting their advertising campaigns. The eight successful ad campaigns below demonstrate just how integral smart taglines are to a company’s brand recognition.
Key points to remember
- Successful advertising campaigns manage to link the products sold to a catchy slogan.
- The most successful advertising campaigns consolidate a new slogan and become a cultural reference point.
- Notable ad campaigns for Apple, McDonald’s, De Beers, “Got Milk?”, American Express, Nike, Kit Kat candies, and Volkswagen are all part of popular culture.
1. “Just do it”
Nike, Inc. (NKE) adopted this slogan in 1988 when the company was in the midst of financial difficulties. This simple saying is now inseparable from the brand’s athletic equipment. You could say that “Just Do It” is a perfect saying for a company selling sportswear and sports merchandise because it inspires a sense of boldness and encourages consumers to try harder. The success of this slogan is now seen as a crucial part of Nike’s success in the years since its launch.
2. “Think small”
Volkswagen AG (VLKAF) has produced many clever slogans and advertising campaigns over the years, but perhaps their most popular slogan dates back to 1959: “Think Small”. This campaign was created by advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB) and was ranked as the best advertising campaign of the 20th century by Advertising Age in a survey of North American advertisements.
At the time, big cars with lots of luxury features were highly coveted by Americans, and Volkswagen was trying to sell its small Beetle model. For Americans obsessed with luxury cars and muscle cars, it was difficult to market the appeal of a durable small car. Their low-key ads included a small image of a car surrounded by plenty of white space and showed off the car’s practical features.
3. “Did you take your break today?” »
In 1995, McDonald’s (MCD) asked consumers a simple question in their advertisements: “Have you had your break today?” This slogan was an evolution of their previous slogan: “You deserve a break today”.
The slogan “You deserve a break today” debuted in a 1971 television commercial. It was shown in print and television commercials throughout the 1970s and 1980s. you had your break today?” – was recognized by Advertising Age in 1999 as the number one advertising jingle of the century. When McDonald’s introduced its “Have you had your break today?” slogan in 1995, it was at least the company’s 30th slogan in three decades.
4. “A diamond is forever”
De Beers launched this simple slogan in 1947 and it is still used today, making it one of the longest running advertising campaigns of all time. The slogan “A Diamond Is Forever” was written by Frances Gerety of the Philadelphia advertising agency NW Ayer. During the Great Depression, diamond sales had declined. The De Beers slogan changed most of America’s relationship with diamonds. Before the tagline, it wasn’t common to propose with a diamond engagement ring.
Ian Fleming’s fourth novel featuring the protagonist James Bond was published in 1956 as “Diamonds Are Forever”, further reinforcing De Beers’ slogan in the cultural zeitgeist. (The book was eventually made into a movie in 1971.) To sell their expensive diamonds, De Beers continues to rely on simple black-and-white advertisements that convey a sense of timelessness.
5. “Give me a break”
This slogan for the Kit Kat candy bar was part of an even catchier jingle from an advertisement launched in 1986. “Gimme a Break” was a variation of the 1957 Kit Kat slogan “Have a Break…Have a Kit Kat” . Television commercials that featured the song “Gimme a Break” included footage of workplaces singing while breaking pieces of Kit Kat candy bars.
Although the 1957 slogan was coined by Donald Gilles of the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency, the jingle was written by Ken Shuldman and Michale A. Levine. The decision to associate the Kit Kat bar with a break after a long day at work resonated with a consumer audience.
However, in 2004, the creators of Kit Kat decided to “take a break” from the tagline, replacing it with a new tagline, “Make the most of your break”.
6. “Think differently”
Although Apple’s advertising slogan was criticized for being grammatically incorrect, it still managed to find its way into the minds of consumers. Apple, Inc. (AAPL) launched this slogan in 1997 in a mixture of print ads and advertisements. The motto asked consumers to act rebellious and defy expectations in order to achieve greatness. Since it was the inspirational story of Steve Jobs’ founding of the company (and his rise to success), it resonated with many consumers.
Some of the ads in this campaign combined black and white images of other historical figures who came to be seen as visionaries with the “Think Different” line.
7. “Do you have any milk?”
The slogan “Got milk?” was first launched in 1993 with the aim of encouraging consumers to drink more milk. The California Milk Processor Board hired advertising firm Goodby, Silverstein & Partners to increase sales. While the “Got Milk?” The campaign began as an advertisement, it quickly became an indelible part of popular culture.
Many ads featured celebrities with milk mustaches. From supermodel Naomi Campbell to Simpsons characters to Dennis Rodman, the personalities at the pinnacle of celebrity culture in the 1990s have been on the “Got Milk?” Brand.
8. “Don’t leave the house without it”
American Express Co. (AXP) first advised consumers not to leave home without them in 1975. The slogan was originally used to promote American Express Travelers Checks and advertisements featured the actor Oscar-winning Karl Malden.
The slogan changed from “Don’t Leave Home Without Them” to “Don’t Leave Home Without Out” to refer to credit cards from American Express. Although Malden was the brand ambassador for over two decades, more recently other celebrities such as Stephen King and Jerry Seinfeld have been featured in advertisements for American Express.
Securing a place in the consumers’ psyche
The ultimate goal of advertisers is to secure a place in the consumer’s psyche; each ad is an attempt to grab consumers’ attention. The most successful advertising campaigns manage to link the products sold to a catchy slogan. Whether it’s a short, sweet phrase that logically matches the product or a wacky statement that entices consumers to take a look, it’s never an easy task for advertisers.