3 of the Most Creative Marketing Campaigns of 2018 (so far)

2018 has only begun, but there are already some fantastic ad campaigns out there to learn from. Great ad campaigns evoke strong emotions, staying in our minds for days, weeks, or even months, influencing consumers to make purchasing decisions. They’re a first step in introducing a company to its intended audience - or reminding them of its existence. Here are three of the most creative marketing campaigns of 2018 so far.

1. ESSC- “Change the Way You See Disability”

A thought-provoking new advertising campaign from Easterseals Southern California (ESSC), an organization which assists more than 10,000 people with disabilities in several parts of California, launched a new ad campaign February first that features its own program recipients. The title of the campaign is “Changing the Way to See Disability,” and its goal is to create inclusion and encourage social change. The campaign’s slogan is ‘Celebrate. Don't Separate.'

Mark Whitley, president & CEO of ESSC, comments:

“When we unite as one, we can create social change and break down barriers. Every day, people make generalizations about people with disabilities—and many may not even realize they're doing it. We're launching a movement that helps people look beyond what they see at first glance to build a more inclusive world.”

New advertising campaign from Easterseals Southern California (ESSC).

The campaign will encompass many different channels as it rolls out throughout 2018, including print, internet, and outdoor ads, as well as a “Make the Promise” grassroots social media campaign, which will ask people to promote the message of inclusion and will use the hashtag #CelebrateDontSeparate.

Based on inclusion, the campaign challenges people to “Be Supportive. Not Sorry” and “Don’t Exclude. Include,” among other advertising slogans. The first phase of the campaign features six California residents, ranging in age from 4 to 64, including two ESSC recipients who meet through the program and are now engaged.

Easterseals has been providing services for individuals and families with special needs for over 100 years. The services provided help recipients address challenges and achieve personal goals. ESSC aids over 10,000 people each year with services such as development/early education, employment aid, veteran employment support, independent living options, and more. 

2. Intuit: “A Giant Story”

Intuit, a software company that develops and sells accounting, financial, and tax preparation software for individuals and small businesses, recently launched its new brand campaign. We’ll see the first part of the campaign, an animated short about two business owners, during the SuperBowl. 

The goal of the campaign is to bring all of Inuit’s brands together, including Mint, TurboTax, and Quickbooks. While millions of people use the brand’s products (46 million combined, to be exact), only four out of every thousand individuals use two or more of them. The brand wants to show that its products are best when used as a group. 

Phase one of the campaign includes a four-minute animated short in Pixar style. The company’s agency, Phenomenon, created a giant robot to represent the power of the brand’s services, deciding that animation was the best way to get the brand’s idea across. The ad will run during Super Bowl LII as a 15-second teaser and drive users back to the full film online. 

In terms of social media, the campaign will feature a Snapchat filter starring the Intuit Giant. The robot in the campaign is a metaphor for the way the brand’s services harness technology to make financial processes simple for its customers. It focuses on a flower shop owner named Pete, who is too busy running his business to enjoy his outside passions, and Pari, an entrepreneur and engineer who is inspired to help him by creating the Intuit Giant.

Superbowl Snapchat filter from Intuit.

Chief marketing officer Lucas Watson, explains the target audience for the campaign in a statement, saying:

“There are 750 million people who work for themselves around the world who juggle managing their finances while pursuing their passions. With today’s economy, and the pressures of managing time and money, sometimes it can seem like the odds are stacked against them. But Intuit exists to work for them.”

The brand promises to continue the campaign throughout the year and work on additional digital channels and executions.

3. LinkedIn: “In It Together”

Powerhouse social media network LinkedIn is out to crush its current “white collar” stereotype. The brand recently launched a TV spot titled “In it Together” during the Golden Globes award show, an advertising move uncharacteristic of the brand in the past. But that makes sense since LinkedIn is trying to break away from its current perception. The  “In It Together” campaign features a diverse range of peoples and businesses.

The campaign represents LinkedIn’s first real integrated marketing effort and also includes online video, digital display, paid social media, outdoor ads, podcasts, radio spots, partnerships, and search engine marketing.

Overall, the campaign will last twelve weeks and will be targeted at four core markets - San Francisco, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. The company will compare LinkedIn activity in these markets with markets that have not been targeted to better understand the results of the campaign. The videos use black-and-white, documentary-style shots to showcase LinkedIn users’ success stories in their unique environments. 

The campaign represents LinkedIn’s first real integrated marketing effort and also includes online video, digital display, paid social media, outdoor ads, podcasts, radio spots, partnerships, and search engine marketing.

Overall, the campaign will last twelve weeks and will be targeted at four core markets - San Francisco, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. The company will compare LinkedIn activity in these markets with markets that have not been targeted to better understand the results of the campaign. The videos use black-and-white, documentary-style shots to showcase LinkedIn users’ success stories in their unique environments. 

In an email to Adweek, Campaign Director Stacy Peralta (of Dogtown and Z-Boys) explained the impact of the campaign, stating:

“I knew from the first reading of the boards that this was one of those rare opportunities. They asked us to tell real stories about real people, they wanted it shot in black and white, and they wanted energy, enthusiasm and candor from the people involved. We found and documented many of the unique people who use the platform. We found avant-garde musicians, MMA fighters, physics teachers, animators, chefs and real-life cowboys, all of whom not only use LinkedIn but rave about its effect on their careers.”

All of the above campaigns use elements that humanize the brand, producing emotions and encouraging empathy. The tried-and-true elements of advertising remain the same, but the digital world offers us more avenues than ever before to get content in front of our target audience. Explore which avenues are the best fit for your brand. 

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