“Make it simple. Make it memorable.” We can’t help but agree with Leo Burnett, whose advertising prowess led to the creation of icons Tony the Tiger, the Jolly Green Giant and the Pillsbury Doughboy. But what does that look like for today’s business? Our team picked five ads that embody this quote and inspire our team when developing new campaigns for clients.
1. Spotify’s Playlist Campaign
It’s hard not to love humorous, slightly sarcastic marketing, says Bethany Georgia, Fresh’s social media manager. Spotify has found a sweet spot in recent campaigns by repurposing its copious amounts of user data into hilarious advertising. Like the ad that reads, “There’s a playlist called ‘Peaceful Piano.’ For when you’re sick of all that violent, in-your-face piano.” Or the commercial with the band DNCE pondering the implications of someone putting their song “Body Moves” on a playlist entitled, “Play This At My Funeral.” Utilizing user data sounds simple, but the way Spotify mines these nuggets creates a memorable advertisement whatever the medium.
2. Direct TV
Direct TV knows how to capitalize on the public’s poor perception of cable companies. This cleverness is not lost on Art Director Sandra Sheppard. In fact, the recent “Bang Your Head” commercial caught Sandra’s eye because she’s fallen victim to every irritating experience in the ad. By showcasing these experiences, DirectTV subtly reminds customers how interacting with cable providers all too often feels like banging your head against a low beam or camping in poison ivy. The concept of hating your cable company is simple, but illustrating what that relationship feels like is one-of-a-kind.
3. Farmers Insurance, “We Know From Experience” Ads
Whether in print or commercial form, this campaign thrives on sharing the bizarre experiences when people needed insurance. Administrative Coordinator Bev Sherick says the ads are memorable because of their stories and for the accompanying jingle. After all, who could forget a ram charging its own reflection in a truck? Or a rodent tagging along in the carpool? Farmers Insurance entertains while still informing customers, “We’ve seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything.”
4. Ephrata Cloister, “No Pillow Fights Allowed”
Years ago, Ephrata Cloister ran a billboard advertisement reading, “FOR YOUR PROTECTION, no pillow fights allowed,” with a picture of a wooden block and the tagline, “Ephrata Cloister – Home of the Wooden Pillow.” Both Art Director Shelley Carpenter and Strategist & PR Director Tracy Fellin remember the billboard nearly a decade later! The memorable messaging worked well by sparking interest in those wondering why the pillows at the tourist attraction were wooden. At the same time, it generated knowing smiles from past visitors.
5. “Pass the Heinz” Ad Campaign
The “Mad Men” fans in our office quickly recognized these iconic ads pitched by Don Draper in the series. We love these ads for their simplicity. “Pass the Heinz” hangs on a white background above mouthwatering items in need of ketchup, like French fries and a cheeseburger. The high awareness surrounding the Heinz brand, and the deeply-engrained association between the items shown and ketchup, makes this campaign simple and eye-catching.
Your company’s advertisements can stick with customers for years, particularly when humor and information are combined. However, finding the right mix and voice can be a challenge.