3 of the most creative marketing campaigns of all time


As Marketing Week succinctly put it: “Creativity is the oxygen in marketing”, and this is hard to argue with. Marketing is all about getting people interested in a brand, and being creative when interacting with them is sure to pique their interest.

Indeed, a creative marketing campaign has so many benefits for brands. PR agency Pitch points to the ability of such a campaign to create a compelling narrative about a brand, persuade audiences to give it another look, and encourage intelligent innovation within the brand itself. 

History is full to the brim of creative marketing campaigns, so, to pay homage to some of the best we’ve seen and perhaps give your own brand some inspiration going forward, here are three of the most creative campaigns from times gone by.

1. “Share a Coke” – Coca-Cola

Personalisation is one the most potent marketing approaches a brand can take. From creating brand loyalty to building trust with customers, it’s little wonder that three in four brands now agree that it’s a minimum marketing requirement. So what better way to embrace this strategy than by offering personalised products to a large section of your audience? 

This is exactly what Coca-Cola did from 2011 onwards in its worldwide “Share a Coke” campaign, and to unbelievable effect. Starting in Australia and eventually rolled out in 80 countries, Coca-Cola replaced its brand name on its iconic red bottles with one of the country’s 250 most popular names. 

The campaign encouraged people to go out and find a bottle with their name on it, before sharing it with their friends. Customers around the world went out in their droves to purchase the limited edition bottles, in a marketing masterstroke by the drinks behemoth. 

Not only did sales shoot up around the world,“ Share a Coke” is credited with reversing over 10 years of decline in Coke consumption in the company’s biggest market: the US.. 

2. “Whassup?” – Budweiser

Sometimes, a simple but creative catchphrase is all you need to send your marketing campaign to the stratosphere. Memorable, informative, and occasionally even controversial, the likes of  “I’m Lovin’ It”, “Just Do It” and “Because You’re Worth it” have all stood their respective brands in good stead in times gone by. 

Arguably the most iconic single-campaign catchphrase of all time comes from Budweiser. Rewind to 1999, and the beer brand released the now iconic “Whassup?” commercial. Based on the short film True, the advert featured a group of friends talking on the phone and saying “whassup?” to each other in a comical manner. 

Even though the advert was pre social media, its catchphrase spread like wildfire, becoming a bonafide cultural phenomenon. The campaign has even been credited with ushering in the era of viral videos as a whole, and the catchphrase’s pop culture footprint is testament to this, having featured in everything from Friends to The Simpsons.

Like the “Share a Coke” campaign, “Whassup?” helped Budweiser massively increase sales, with the brand selling an extra 2.4 million bottles of beer worldwide on the back of the advert. With Budweiser also scooping the Cannes Grand Prix award and the Grand Clio award for the campaign, “Whassup?” is testament to the rewards of thinking outside of the box. 

3. “Switching Saddles” – Betfair

Another great way of capturing your audience is via a creative marketing stunt. From launching limited edition products to staging some type of event, these marketing stunts come in many forms, and have the ability to shock, intrigue and wow your audience. Betfair’s 2016 “Switching Saddles” campaign is a perfect example of this.

Rather than a one-off stunt, this particular campaign was notable for being more of a long-term challenge. Here, Betfair tasked former Olympic cyclist champion Victoria Pendleton with becoming a jockey and riding a racehorse in a competitive race at the Cheltenham Festival, something that required a year’s worth of training in the run up to the event.

Featuring various events throughout the year training period to showcase her efforts, the campaign generated significant media coverage in the run up to the festival, with over 830 items of Betfair branded coverage created during this time. The brand also received its highest ever number of Cheltenham bets during the festival itself, while customer sentiment around Betfair improved, as did its amount of brand awareness. With a creative use of Pendleton’s star power, the betting company truly transformed their Cheltenham fortunes with “Switching Saddles.”


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