Out of the Box Creative Marketing Techniques to Learn from Top Brands
It may seem like there’s nothing new in the world of marketing, but every once in a while something unusual pops up. Creative stunts, out of the box thinking, and memorable marketing design can all make up advertising campaigns that really stand out in the minds of the viewer — and can all lead to success.
Even top brands like Adidas, KFC, and Amazon always need to create opportunities to boost brand awareness. And some of the campaigns that these brands have turned to set epic examples of creative marketing.
Not only are these techniques fascinating to observe in action, but they can also teach us a lot about how to make creative marketing work to boost your startup brand identity.
So let’s dive into three different brands and their best creative marketing examples.
Adidas and Viral Video Marketing
Marketers know that video is where it’s at. Not only do 85% of consumers in the United States alone watch video content each month on their device, 54% are actively looking to see more video marketing and information from brands or companies that they follow on social media or support as consumers.
So it’s not surprising that marketers are increasingly turning to video to reach audiences.
But it isn’t just about the medium. It’s also about the content. “Viral” videos flare up and out every week, but they can be hard to predict. So it takes a marketer with a savvy awareness of what people find appealing to create video marketing that is destined for success.
Adidas hit the jackpot with its Boston Marathon videos. Not only did it hit home with the core customer base of the brand, it also used user-generated content, which is almost always a solid marketing choice.
Even more impressively, Adidas used cutting edge technology to capture footage and edit it into personalized videos for each of the runners in the marathon.
The main video that Adidas created ended up with over 100,000 views in just the first two days of its release.
The takeaway: video marketing captures more attention in itself; add personalized and user-created content and aim for your core demographic, and you’ve got a hit on your hands.
Kentucky Fried Chicken and Turning Mishaps into Marketing
In February of 2018, KFC was forced to temporarily shut down most of its stores in the UK due to a massive “chicken shortage.” With a peak closure of over 600 of its 900 stores, the massive fast food chain faced a very unhappy public.
With a clear eye on honesty and facing up to the problem, KFC reached out to the public and made an apology — an honest, funny, appealing apology.
They released an ad, both in print and online, that combined wit, snark, and straight-up saying, “We’re sorry,” as well as offering thanks both to their customers and their employees for their hard work at fixing the situation.
It was something of a gamble, but paid off in a big way. Not only was the marketing stunt effective — KFC still retains millions of customers — but the ad shows up in several lists of the most creative, memorable, and effective marketing of last year.
The takeaway: everything is an opportunity to enhance brand reputation and awareness, even when mishaps or even disasters occur. Humor and honesty can go a long way in helping a brand retain customers.
Amazon’s Jurassic World Box and Cross-Platform Campaigning
It’s unlikely that many of us are actively working on a project for a company as big as Amazon, or for a movie franchise as popular as Jurassic Park. And it can be difficult to imagine trying to coordinate marketing efforts for both at once.
Here’s where the adage “go big or go home” comes in.
The marketing team behind this campaign created a physical, real-world component: a 40-foot long box studded with air holes, in the middle of a crowded shopping mall. They also included virtual components: a QR code for more information, a trending hashtag, and an update to Amazon’s Alexa that gave users the ability to ask the AI for clues as to what was in the box.
It all added up to a technique that was deceptively simple on the outside, but which contained several layers once you started looking into the campaign.
Very few of us may ever work on a massive multi-product campaign such as this, but there are still some lessons that can be applied in any campaign, whether large or small.
The takeaway: Combine physical and virtual elements to campaigns, whether these are print and internet based ads or something more complex. Cross-platform marketing, such as linked social media accounts, reach more audiences. And add in an element of mystery to keep people intrigued and invested.
Market Outside The Box
Creativity is often rewarded with more attention, which is exactly what is wanted in the marketing world. There’s a reason why creative marketing techniques like the ones listed here live on in the public memory.
Marketing can be fun, touching, emotional, irreverent, and hilarious. In fact, if we learn anything from some of the creative efforts that have gone before, it is that the number one rule in marketing is this: there are no rules.
But there definitely are lessons.
Elizabeth Summer is a freelance content writer who has previous experience in a digital design agency. She writes about branding, graphic design and digital marketing. Her favorite time of the day is after midnight when she comes up with creative ideas.