What really makes a marketing campaign successful?

Knowing what makes a slogan or marketing campaign successful is very much the holy grail of marketing—it’s essentially the raison d’être of the entire ad industry. The differences in gender, culture and language, humor, and socio-economic tier are just a couple of the factors that need to be taken into consideration by ad men and women and can turn their job from a creative romp into a veritable minefield. 

Our attention spans are getting shorter

The way the human mind works, especially the function of memory, can be especially crucial in the creation of taglines. At the risk of insulting humans everywhere, the shorter it is, the more likely one is to remember it. That was part of the tremendous success of the Got Milk? ad campaign created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners working for the California Milk Processors Board. With iconic ads that anyone of a certain age in America will remember, the Got Milk? commercial ran from 1993 to 2014 and has become a brand name in its own right. The two-word slogan was easy for people to remember and prone to parody on television shows which indirectly boosted its profile. 

Give before you take

Sometimes it’s not merely how recognizable a slogan is that makes the difference for a company and their marketing campaigns. For a company like 888poker, it’s not short rhetorical questions that sell the products but the products themselves and the people who use them. The second-largest online poker network regularly offers customers special deals, thus rewarding local customers who check the site regularly. In addition to that, endorsement deals with poker celebrities and celebrities from other industries who are hobby poker players are the bread and butter of their marketing campaigns. Cricketer Shane Warne and professional boxer George St. Pierre are two of the athletes the company uses to generate publicity as well as professional poker players like Jake Balsiger, Jessica Dawley or Nicolau Villa-Lobos.

One of the advantages of using celebrity endorsement is that people already following a sports star or famous actor will suddenly become aware of a product or service. The advantage there is simply generating conversation about the service or product offered. Celebrities are not always necessary for stimulating that kind of buzz. 

Piggyback on existing famous brands

When Romania’s national chocolate, ROM – founded in 1964 and associated with Romania’s communist past – started losing sales they opted for a rebrand. Sort of. The chocolate bar, wrapped in the colors of the Romania flag, decided to piggyback on America’s “coolness” by adding the Stars and Stripes to the Romanian chocolate bar. The intentional backlash meant their Facebook fans increased by 300% in under a week with customers demanding the packing switch back. After a week it was announced the change was a hoax to generate publicity, which it did, resulting in awards for the advertisers behind the campaign, McCann Erickson.

Regardless of how a company goes about marketing their product – using controversy, celebrities, or repeatable slogans to sell their product – the underlying thread of all successful ad campaigns is that they all get customers and potential customers talking about their products.