There was no shortage of marketing wins that made a splash and helped shape the course of industry trends in Q2. Because we can’t wait until the end of the year (and because your marketing campaign planning can’t wait, either) we’ve rounded up the 5 best marketing campaigns so far of 2018.
1. IHOP flips the script
The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) announced on Twitter that it would soon change its name to IHOb. The pancake chain didn’t provide details, and for the next week, people swarmed social media to speculate what the “b” might stand for. Breakfast, bacon, bankruptcy and even bitcoin topped the list of possibilities.
IHOP (uh, IHOb), kept up the act and playfully responded to some queries, while telling others to have “batience” for the big reveal. The stunt generated major hype on social and showed no signs of waning even once the company announced that the “b” stands for burgers. The hashtags #IHOP and #IHOB collectively accumulated more than 297 million impressions in the weeklong lead-up to the June 11 reveal, pointing to how many people love a good mystery and a chance to share their thoughts online.
2. Amazon’s oversized delivery
In a stunt that similarly boasted an air of mystique – but took up far more square footage – Amazon delivered its largest-ever package to drum up excitement for the movie “Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom.”
The 40-foot long box was adorned with air holes, the “Jurassic World” logo and a scannable SmileCode that unlocked content surrounding the film, which premiered on June 22. The massive package also featured the hashtag #AmazonFindsAWay to direct curious onlookers to social media and investigate what could be inside the box and buy tickets for the movie. For those that couldn’t wait to crack the case of the box’s contents, an Alexa-powered voice experience offered clues and dinosaur sounds when prompted with “Alexa, ask Jurassic Park what’s in the box.”
3. Adidas’ Boston Marathon video run
Athletic apparel brand Adidas leveraged the 30,000 runners of the Boston Marathon in April by creating personalized videos for each participant. High-tech chips attached to race bibs, street mats that transmitted radio signals, along with a 20-person camera crew, helped to capture footage of each runner at the 15K mark and finish line. Hours after the marathon, runners were emailed their video, complete with a soundtrack and b-roll scenes from the race.
The lofty initiative demonstrates how marketers are getting ambitious with video efforts and personalized content at scale, while also capitalizing on popular events that draw major viewership.
4. Alexa Lost Her Voice – Amazon Alexa
Dominating the smart speaker market, the Amazon Echo is an amazing product that lets you interact with virtual assistant Alexa to do a range of different actions. For the most part, Amazon Alexa can answer you a range of questions, set up calendars or play music. If you have smart appliances in your home, the assistant can further be tweaked to perform a range of different actions in coherence with those appliances.
But we are here to talk marketing! And one of the most amazing and creative marketing campaigns of 2018 is “Alexa Lost Her Voice.”
The advertisement itself is extremely creative and managed to become one of the most talked about ads from the Super Bowl. It presents the creative idea that “Alexa lost her voice” and the echo smart functions would instead be replaced by celebrity voices.
Part of the marketing genius of the ad also comes with the selection of the celebrities chosen to be featured in the ad. It featured some infamous faces, such as Cardi B, Gordon Ramsay and Sir Anthony Hopkins. And while most celebrities do have their own brand, the celebrities in questions are infamous for their powerful characters.
Not to mention, the video is designed beautifully with some intricate details, such as the chef Gordon Ramsay answering to cooking related questions. And while we would love to see such a feature actually be available on the echo, it is but an ad.
5. KFC’s 11 Herbs and Spices
Remember the good old days when no one knew what went into the Colonel’s recipe? Little did we know that the Colonel wasn’t keeping it a secret.
You see, late last year, the brand started following just eleven people on Twitter: the five original Spice Girls and six guys named herb.
We scratched our heads (or were completely oblivious to the very vague stunt), until Twitter user @edgette22 came to our rescue. They’d figured out the centuries-old secret the Colonel was keeping from us:
The original Tweet has been favorited more than 700,000 times and received more than 300,000 comments.
And KFC milked the stir for all it was worth by continuing the momentum of the stunt. They created a painting of Twitter user @edgette22 being carried by the Colonel which, again, was voraciously retweeted and spread around the web.