Creativity is essential in successful marketing campaigns. While not all of your marketing campaigns have to win awards for their creativity, it certainly doesn’t hurt to try and inject some creativity into your marketing to make it stand out. If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some of the most inspiring ideas from the last year or so to give you a few ideas.
1. Give a Hand to Wildlife
The WWF came up with a fantastic campaign in 2015 called “Give a Hand to Wildlife.” As you can see from the images below, this was an incredibly simple concept:
Despite its simplicity, the results are amazing. The images have that initial surprise factor, followed by the feeling of appreciation that such a simple idea can be so effective. The images on their own are stunning, but they work perfectly with the message of the campaign, and they have a deeper meaning. And because the images were all impressive, the campaign could run for a long time without becoming dull. This goes to show how you can implement a simple idea without a large budget as long as you can come up with a creative angle.
2. Paint with Accuracy
Purdy is a paint supply company that makes accurate paint brushes. Last year, it ran a marketing campaign that was simple but powerful to publicize its Clearcut Series. In this video, it demonstrates how its paint can be used to demonstrate the accuracy of its brushes. The idea is that the hardest part of painting is getting the details right, so Purdy painted a mural onto a wall, but by painting inside the bricks rather than painting the bricks themselves.
This is a great idea for a marketing campaign. The mural is impressive in itself, but it also demonstrates in a clear and visual way the accuracy of the brushes. How could you demonstrate the properties of your product or service in a creative way? If you can get this across in a surprising but clear way, you could be onto a great idea.
3. Christmas Card
This is a fantastic idea from Volkswagen, a company that has long been known for its creative marketing. Again the concept is very simple. All you see is a Christmas card that looks like a plain white card with the VW logo. But when you open it up, the logo is transformed into a snowflake, as you can see below:
Great creative ideas don’t have to be digital, and print still has an important role to play. Of course, the image itself will have been shared thousands of times online. VW is sure to have made a lot of people happy with this simple Christmas card, and it is great for the brand’s image. Could you come up with something similar?
4. Shot with iPhone 6
Apple has built its reputation on creativity, so it’s no surprise to see it featured here. Its “Shot with iPhone 6” campaign appeared throughout 2015, and like the Purdy campaign, it shows what the product is capable of.
Huge billboards were put up in countries all over the world featuring stunning photos that had been taken by customers on their iPhone 6 cameras. The images were shown off in their full glory in locations where thousands of people would see them, inspiring countless people with the thought: “If someone else can do that, so can I!” It actually began as a website contest, but it turned into an effective campaign that combined marketing and social media to inspire people while showing off the camera’s abilities in a simple and effective way.
5. The bookbook
This campaign from IKEA poked fun at Apple in a humorous style, and it became a hit. The idea was to market its 2015 catalogue, but rather than simply displaying a new catalogue that everyone has seen before, it took a unique twist on the launch, as you can see in the video.
In it, IKEA shows off all the “features” of the new invention: Not an ebook, but a “bookbook.” These include the ability to bookmark items simply by adding sticky notes, and the eternal battery life. The video is all shot in the same style as a new product release from Apple, and the humor helps to demonstrate the fun and friendly brand image of IKEA. By taking a rather dull product, and adding some creative flair, IKEA has managed to make people laugh—and it picked up a lot of publicity as a result.
6. Phones Down
The king of creative marketing, Guinness has created some of the most memorable ads over the past few decades. The “Phones Down” campaign (read about it here) was based on a simple concept, but the message was clear.
The image is clever on its own, appearing as a pint of Guinness made up of mobile phones. But it has a deeper message. Guinness is complaining about the inability of people to go out and socialize without looking at their phones every five seconds. It’s an effective message, but simply stating the message would have got nowhere. By making a creative campaign around it, the message comes across much clearer.
7. Have a Break
KitKat used its slogan of “Have a Break, Have a KitKat” in a guerrilla marketing campaign. It’s not a new one, but it deserves a mention, and it is still going strong. You can now visit the website to see all the places you can enjoy a break on a KitKat bench.
It taps into its own brand heritage to surprise people, and you can imagine coming across the bench and instantly “getting” the message. What about your own brand? Is there something about it that people know and understand? Could you use your slogan in a creative way to get publicity?
Get Your Creative Hat On
One thing that links all of the above ideas is that they are all so simple. And this is true of many of the most creative marketing techniques. They have to be simple to get their point across instantly, but they can still be incredibly creative at the same time.
For your next marketing campaign, try and think of something slightly different, something a bit unusual that hasn’t been done before. It’s easier said than done, but the results can be well worth it.
Hopefully, these ideas will give you a few ideas of your own. But make a habit of collecting ideas that you come across so you can put them into your own inspiration file to get your creative juices flowing.