Revisiting Three Marketing Campaigns That Changed The Way Brands Communicate
We can all think of something interesting – or controversial – a brand has done to catch the attention of their audience. With gripping social media debates, personalised campaigns and sassy advertisements, throughout the years brands have innovated their strategies to heighten brand awareness and resonance. Let’s revisit three different campaigns that effectively captured the attention of the marketing world.
We all remember the feud between M&S and Aldi when it came to their caterpillar style novelty cakes. In 2021, M&S filed to sue Aldi because they believed that Aldi’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake was far too similar to their infamous Colin the Caterpillar cake.
In response, Aldi took to social media to express their thoughts about the case. One of Aldi’s tweets used the basis of M&S’s well-known catchphrase ‘This isn’t just…’ to reply to M&S, using their own words against them. This generated a lot of buzz and sparked the beginning of their #FreeCuthbert campaign. The hashtag accompanied many other tweets that included images, retweets of fans’ own posts and reactions to the court case. One notable image showed Cuthbert held prisoner in his own packaging with bars edited across the plastic window of his packaging.
Overall, Aldi saw a surge in engagement simply by using sarcasm and cheekiness to tell the tale of a story that Aldi shoppers were avidly watching. Some posts gained likes in excess of 100k. This surge did not last for long though, with likes dropping back down to their typical averages of between 10-30k. But sure enough, their campaign is widely remembered among social media users.
Spotify launched their Spotify Wrapped campaign in 2016 and they have relaunched it every year since. Listeners are treated to a roundup of which artists they have listened to the most, which songs they have played the most and which genres they tended to favour. Spotify even generates this data to create a unique playlist where the user can reminisce the year gone by.
Wrapped was Spotify’s move to make their platform more personalised for users. Spotify users were invited to share their stats across social media, which was extremely effective in the age where people like to share their interests with the wider world. According to SproutSocial, Spotify Wrapped was mentioned in 425,000,000 tweets within the first three days after they launched their campaign.
Users now eagerly anticipate their end-of-year review from Spotify every December, ready to share across their networks.
British Airways – Out of Office
British Airways tapped into the mindset of the modern-day worker and adopted a cheeky tone of voice for their campaign ‘Take Your Holiday Seriously’ earlier this year. The national airline used the idea of turning typical ‘out of office’ emails into blunt, sassy responses. Their campaign was fuelled by research that showed that 52% of Brits admitted to checking their work emails whilst on holiday (British Airways Holidays/Globetrender, 2023).
Messages such as ‘Hold on while I put down my drink, get off my day bed, find my laptop, ignore my entire family and reply. Oh wait! I’m not going to do that.’ are conveniently placed over picturesque beaches. Think golden sands, aquamarine seas and drooping palm trees.
It seems that British Airways wanted to convey the message that holidays should be treated as time for ourselves. In a time where work-life balance has become increasingly more hot-topic, British Airways have attempted to capture an audience who have rapidly developed this mindset. Their cheeky tone immediately elicits the feeling of wanting to get away and escaping the usual routine of daily life.