22nd Dec 2016, by Kalli Soteriou

10 Yetis Insight - The Best Marketing Campaigns Of 2016

We’ve had a bit of an awkward year in all honesty, with a lot of weird and downright shocking developments; Brexit, Trump, Marmite losing its shelving at Tesco… However where there is darkness, there is also light and 2016 was a banger of a year for marketing campaigns. We’ve seen some of the most impactful and forward-thinking concepts yet, but that’s not all - it has been an incredible year for innovation and digital technology! Instagram got one up on Snapchat with the introduction of stories, Facebook came up trumps with development, after development, after development, and Twitter…well…I’m sure it will have a better year in 2017!

Anyway, tis the season to reflect upon the year past and all that so without further ado, here are some of the Yetis’ favourite marketing campaigns of 2016. Enjoy!

Good Ship Benefit – Benefit Cosmetics

“There’s just so many to choose from this year that I feel like a kid in a sweet shop! My favourite though, just because I wish I had been able to get onboard, was the ‘Good Ship Benefit’ experience. To coincide with the launch of five new products, Benefit Cosmetics moored up its biggest experiential campaign to date, taking over the Thames Embankment with its ship, R.S Hispaniola. This was a really clever concept that made waves in experiential marketing, as it took the traditional branded pop-up to a whole new level.

The ship included splashes of pink and glitter and a collection of themed spaces, from the mascara-inspired Lashtitide restaurant and ‘secret’ underwater Porefessional Vault, to the Curl’s Best Friend pop-up parlour and the Hawaii-themed outdoor Hoola Decks (see what they did there!). The brand tied this offline activation with digital activity, including a microsite to allow consumers to book the themed spaces for their own private functions, along with workshops hosted by Benefit. The ship occupied a 5-month residency giving passers-by the opportunity to take advantage, while enabling the brand maximum brand awareness for its campaign. Kudos!”

Kalli Soteriou, Senior Social Media & Content Account Manager


O Refreshing Stuff – Oasis

“I loved the Oasis Drinks summer campaign, which used brutal honesty in its sales tactics. I first saw it for myself at a service station on the M4 when travelling back from a client meeting in London, in the form of a poster ad that read, "It's summer. You're thirsty. We've got sales targets". I then looked into it some more online, because it made my giggle, and there were more layers of the campaign that were really clever. The Coco-Cola owned drinks brand named the campaign 'O Refreshing Stuff' and it look a refreshingly honest look at the world. Another poster read 'Please don't stand in front of this poster. It cost a lot of money." They also got an Oasis drinks fan named Scott to wear a t-shirt for 30 days that read 'Oasis gave me free stuff to wear this stuff" and rewarded him for doing so with loads of Oasis drinks goodies. This all played out on Twitter, which was a great social campaign that also generated loads of national PR coverage."

Shannon Peerless, Head of PR


Who You Gonna Call – Ghostbusters

“One of my favourite campaigns of the year (that I’ve already written about a few times on our Yeti Blog) is that carried out by the Ghostbusters team in the lead up to the launch of the new film, earlier this year. They ran a few different stunts, but the one that really caught my attention was the phone box campaign where the posters had a number that you could call if you spotted any paranormal activity. I was one of those who decided to call the number to see if it was real or not, only to come across a pre-recorded message by Chris Hemsworth advising on what to do if I encountered a ghost, and further directing me to their Facebook page. This stunt really hit the headlines, so doubt I wasn’t the only one to call the number.”

Sam Summers, Senior PR Account Executive


Feel The Love - Deadpool

“For me there’s one campaign that stands out for 2016 and it came right at the start of the year (technically it started in 2015 but it’s been going strong this year too). That campaign is the film marketing campaign for Deadpool. It was everywhere; it was so successful that even celebrities were tweeting about it. Some of the stand out bits of marketing were the billboards in America; as the film (an R rated Superhero movie, in case you weren’t aware) was released into theatres on Valentine’s Day, they had a bit of fun with the film, creating a billboard poster which seemed to promote the film as the perfect Valentine’s date movie with a stereotypical rom-com style poster. They also created another billboard, which spelt out the title of the film in emojis. (Skull, poop and the letter L).

These billboards went straight to the front page of Reddit and were shared countless times across social media. The sense of humour of this campaign knew no bounds as people made jokes around the emoji poster; the marketing team then released a more traditional poster but instead of the ‘Deadpool’ title they replaced it with ‘Skullpoopl’. A movie poster without the actual title of the film on it. The Deadpool campaign also took full advantage of reactive calendar days, often creating fun little clips starring Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) himself using the character’s fun and often crude sense of humour, e.g. the Australia Day video. The marketing campaign was incredibly effective, with it being the most successful R rated movie of all time. Grossing $782.6 million, and when you consider its $58 million budget, that’s darn successful.”

Helen Stirling, Senior Social Media Executive


Snapbots & Spectacles – Snapchat

“My favourite campaign of 2016 has to be the release of Snap Inc’s Spectacles; a pair of glasses that allow you to capture short bursts of video. There was an online hype building around this product for a while and I just felt the execution from production to user was awesome. When they were finally released, the brand positioned ‘Snapbots’ in locations around the U.S that could be found on Google Maps. The Snapbots were essentially interactive vending machines where you could purchase the spectacles from. At first this was the only method of purchase and a great way to create even more of an online buzz as people quickly started uploading sightings of the machines and showing of their new toys; generating a huge amount of word of mouth and free publicity for the brand.”

Rod Williams, Junior Account Executive


Lidl Suprises - Lidl

“Everyone loves Lidl, am I right?

If you need some 29p vegetables or some cheap as chips mid-week meat, then it’s literally the best place in the entire world (plus it’s bakery is to die for – I’m a big fan).

The marketing team over at Lidl has taken it to a brand new level over the past couple of years though, with the introduction of its ‘Lidl Suprises’ campaign, presumably aimed at audiences who, although fully aware of the benefits surrounding the budget supermarket, were still gearing up to take the plunge and give the European-style market.

The premise of the campaign focused on taking genuine consumers who had vented their controversial opinions of Lidl on their social media accounts (e.g. the meat/fish is bad quality, doubts over where products are sourced from etc) and challenging their assumptions and perceptions of the brand through a series of targeted media advertisements and marketing devices.

The goal of the campaign, as described on Marketing Week by UK Marketing Director Claire Farrant, was “to put anti-advocates centre stage and convince them to change their minds about the discounter’s food quality.”

The campaign clearly worked and helped to sway uncertain consumers over to Lidl’s way of thinking. Since July, it has attracted a substantial amount of new customers, with numbers continuing to rise.”

Lauren Wilden, PR Account Manager


Thanks 2016 It’s Been Weird - Spotify

“In November, Spotify treated us all with their most hilarious and absolutely brilliant campaign wherein they revealed secrets about all of us. They created ads about their users and placed them all over the globe, with the information being localised so that the chances of someone seeing an advert related to them increased.

The adverts, which appeared on huge billboards or electronic signs, used data from the music-sharing platform to embarrass, embrace and exacerbate consumers deepest music secrets. The billboard popped up around major cities almost overnight and proved a huge success. One of the most hilarious adverts that popped up in the UK read:

“Dear 3,749 people who streamed 'It's the End of the World as We Know It' the day of the Brexit Vote. Hang in There".

Another hilarious truth that appeared in the US described a poor soul who listened to Justin Biebers ‘Sorry’ 42 times on Valentine’s Day. We have no idea what encouraged this behaviour but we know they must really feel sorry.

The aim of the campaign was to get people talking, which would hopefully lead to more people signing up for the music subscription service. In 2016 alone Spotify did add 12 million users to its service. This means the music giant now has over 40 million people streaming on their platform, which is frankly amazing. This campaign got plenty of coverage and had people in multiple countries, like the UK, US, Denmark, Australia and Sweden talking for over a month.

Harriet Dalwood, PR Account Executive

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