The best of the best from 2015

Somehow time just keeps skipping on by, and as marketers knuckle down for the last push to Christmas and turn their thoughts to what 2016 may bring, what better time to take a moment to reflect on the best of the best marketing moments from 2015. Here are our top three…

Choose Happiness

Rarely a year goes by when the branding powerhouse that is Coca Cola doesn’t make it on to the radar of many a marketing world observer. With its iconic Coke red, socially responsible campaigns and of course the Coca Cola Christmas Truck, the ultimate indicator of the holiday season for many, Coca Cola has been a beacon of marketing success and inspiration for those in the industry.

Once again Coca Cola has topped the list of Marketing Week’s ‘Top Campaigns of 2015’, with its evolution to a one brand strategy marking a major shift in the company’s marketing history and a becoming a landmark victory for their evolution. Coca Cola has always boasted a strong marketing strategy with an individual brand identity for each of its sub brands, such as Diet Coke’s Gardener Advert from 2013 which proved to be a viral hit in its targeting of the primarily female consumer demographic.

Yet this year the introduction of an overarching campaign which encompasses the four Coca Cola brands into one umbrella strategy has demonstrated a departure from their long term approach to marketing and could be the start of a new era for the brand. The traditional strapline ‘Open Happiness’ has evolved to become ‘Choose Happiness’, which according to Marketing Week should be seen as a ‘bid to help consumers make informed choices and suggest there is a Coca-Cola to suit every taste by more clearly communicating product differentiation.’

Are you beach body ready?

This summer the relatively unknown health food and supplements brand Protein World put themselves firmly on the marketing map with their ‘beach body ready’ campaign. Some of you may have noticed the yellow bikini clad model on billboards and buses across the country, but perhaps not connected this attention-grabbing image to a brand.

The advert caused controversy upon its release in April over the objectification of women in advertising and lacking social responsibility in the body image debate, with watchdog The Advertising Standards Authority receiving almost 400 complaints and an online petition on Change.org receiving over 70,000 signatures according to a report by The Guardian.

Yet despite this controversy both Marketing Week and Marketing Magazine have hailed the ‘beach body ready’ campaign as among the best marketing moments of 2015. Marketing Magazine noted ‘the speed and scale of the negative response to the ad […] [took] it from relative obscurity into the realms of ‘water-cooler moments’ across the UK,’ though the Magazine did question Protein World’s approach to the social media backlash saying they ‘would question the value of offending consumers as a long-term strategy.’ Marketing Week added ‘in response to negative tweets about the campaign, Protein World CEO Arjun Seth wrote that “sales have tripled and the PR department just got their bonus”.’ Whatever your view of the campaign, the old adage that any publicity is good publicity may still have resonance…

Hello?

2015 wasn’t just a year for great product marketing.  As industry commentator Advertising Age has pointed out, 2015 was also an unforgettable year when it comes to music marketing. Ad Age argues ‘this year has been another turbulent one for the music industry, dominated by the battle and evolution of streaming platforms,’ highlighting the efforts of Apple and the launch of YouTube Music as important milestones in the evolution of the industry.

Perhaps unsurprisingly Ad Age hailed the release of Adele’s long awaited album 25 as the ‘new queen’ of music marketing. They argued ‘the album launch of "25" was executed brilliantly, and according to Nielsen Music it sold a record 3.38 million copies during its first week,’ smashing the previous record by over 1 million copies and her single "Hello" racking up a record breaking 27.7 million views on Vevo in 24 hours. The single even proved popular among members of the very youngest generation in this YouTube clip which made the social media rounds back in November.

According to Ad Age this success can be attributed to Adele’s strong strategy of sticking to a traditional media approach in order to drive revenues, yet juxtaposing this with a free New York City concert two days before the release of the album. The event successfully data captured the email addresses of millions of fans upon entry to the concert, and demonstrated a clever use of strategy and reputation to tap into her already strong and loyal fan base.

With such a strong year for marketing in 2015, here at OTB we think 2016 certainly has a lot to live up to. Don’t miss our upcoming blog about the biggest trends and expectations for the New Year. Stay tuned!

The best of the best from 2015