16 Dec The Most Memorable Marketing Campaigns of 2019
2019 is going as quickly as it came and soon we’ll usher in a brand new year and decade (hello, Roaring Twenties 2.0). Like 2018, it was another banner year for memorable marketing campaigns. This year we saw brands like Dove and CVS make use of user-generated content strategy with two spectacular campaigns on loving yourself as you are, while brands like Wendy’s, Chase, and Moon Pie turned to humor to promote their brands. Other brands including Chobani, Gillette, and Pantone and Adobe, who teamed up to bring awareness to the coral reef crisis, tugged at our heartstrings with cause marketing.
With so many great campaigns it was hard narrowing down the most memorable for this list but here we are! Take a look at my picks for 2019’s most memorable marketing campaigns by national brands.
Pantone + Adobe’s Glowing, Glowing, Gone! Campaign
In late 2018, Pantone announced their pick for the 2019 Color of the Year, a fun, vibrant shade called Living Coral. The aptly chosen moniker accidentally sparked an awareness campaign for the Great Coral Reef crisis, in which advocates reminded Pantone and the world that much of the world’s coral is no longer “living.” Pantone responded by collaborating with Adobe to create the Glowing, Glowing, Gone! Campaign. The two brands developed three shades, Glowing Blue, Glowing Purple, and Glowing Yellow and challenged designers to use these vibrant colors to ignite conversation and awareness of the coral reef plight. The campaign paid off well. This year, more people than ever are donating to scientists who are working to bring dead coral back to life. Side note: Scientists are using music to bring dead coral back to life and it’s working! Check out the article here.
CVS’s #BeautyUnaltered Campaign
This year, CVS combined two increasingly popular marketing strategies–cause marketing and user-generated content–to create the #BeautyUnaltered campaign. Using real CVS social media followers’ photos, CVS shared these unaltered images with their “Beauty Unaltered Beauty Mark” on social media, in print and even on Times Square. They also teamed up with celebrity influencers Erin and Sara Foster to create a t-shirt for which the proceeds are donated to Girls, Inc. a non-profit organization created to empower young girls.
IKEA’s Shoppable Pinterest Catalog
IKEA grew tired of its famous catalog gathering dust on the coffee table so in 2019 they introduced a brand new way to shop the catalog with Pinterest. The world’s first virtual pin board is still a heavy-hitter in the social media world, maintaining its role as the best and most popular social channel for shoppers. IKEA took advantage of this and put their entire catalog on Pinterest and made it shoppable! We saw this shoppable social media trend emerge in 2018 and as IKEA has shown, the trend will only increase in popularity in 2020.
Oreo’s Game of Thrones Campaign
As an avid GoT fan, I’ll confess that I’m among the sea of fans who hated pretty much everything about the final season including the finale. A couple of things I didn’t mind so much were the limited edition GoT Oreo cookies and their delicious reinvention of the series’ title sequence. I’m not sure how Game of Thrones’ less than stellar final season affected Oreo’s coinciding campaign but they definitely earn points for making themselves part of one of the biggest television events of 2019 (and possibly the history of television.)
Moon Pie and Wendy’s Slay Twitter
Last year, Wendy’s established itself as a household name in Twitter roasting. Nothing much changed for the brand in 2019 except they continued their campaign against frozen beef with a new tabletop RPG called Feast of Legends in which players must save the kingdom of Freshtovia from the Ice Jester who threatens to freeze all the fresh beef in the land. Wendy’s conveniently added an online order link on the Feast of Legends for players to fuel up before the fight. They also maintained their reputation as the sassiest, most entertaining fast-food brand on Twitter. Wendy’s might want to step up their game for 2020, though. This year, Moon Pie established itself as a contender for the funniest brand on Twitter with engaging, witty original tweets and hysterical responses to their followers. We foresee a Twitter battle in the near future for these two food brands.
Not all marketing strategies are memorable for a good reason, a lesson Chase Bank and a few others learned in 2019. On April 29, Chase dropped a tweet that was meant to humorously encourage consumers to stop frivolous spending. Twitter wasn’t having it, however, and the tweet set off a backlash firestorm from followers who felt the tweet was insensitive to the poor. Chase tried to smooth things over with a follow-up #MondayMotivation tweet that promised the company was motivated to get better at tweeting. The damage was done, however, and many followers vowed to change banks immediately.
The Chicken Sandwich Wars of 2019
Twenty or thirty years from now, I’ll gather my grandchildren around the fireplace to tell the great tale of the Chicken Sandwich Wars of 2019. Right after I paint a delightful picture of soldiers firing off chicken sandwiches from canons, I’ll tell them the real story of how a few tweets between Popeye’s and Chick-fil-a turned a simple new product launch into an East Coast vs. West Coast style rap battle over whose sandwich was king.
On one hand, one might argue the War was great for Popeye’s bottom line considering the chain sold out of the sandwich for months as a result of the campaign, on the other hand, one would debate the campaign became a customer service nightmare for the brand. You see, Chick-fil-a may have invented the chicken sandwich but where they really shine is in their stellar customer service. Chick-fil-a was ready for the influx of customers engaged in battle. Popeye’s didn’t fare so well.
As lines for what some have called the best chicken sandwich in America began to extend around the block, Popeye’s employees and customers alike began to feel the heat. Videos emerged on social media of customers and employees brawling in the store. Overwhelmed and overworked employees walked out in the middle of shifts. It wasn’t all terrible, though. One guy saw the long lines as an opportunity to help citizens register to vote for the November elections. Other fast-food joints like McDonald’s attempted to throw their versions of the chicken sandwich into the fray but none of them could contend with the reigning king of chicken sandwiches or Louisiana’s favorite chicken chain.
As you can see, social media marketing is bigger today than ever before, and we expect we’ll say the same in another year. For most of the brands on our list, their campaigns paid off but others made major faux pas that are now forever carved in history. When you choose Momentum as your brand’s marketing team, you’re choosing a team that understands the ins and outs of digital marketing. We use our expertise to ensure your marketing strategy brings the best results for your brand. Get started with Momentum by requesting a 30-minute consultation now.