Marketing campaigns are a brand’s chance to show the world what they believe in, what their values are, and to convince their audience that they are a company worth supporting. Each year there are countless failed campaigns that just don’t work, but there are also a number that hit it out the park.
Here at LVE THT we’re constantly on the look-out for innovative and impactful digital
marketing campaigns, and we’ve compiled a list of our favourites from 2021 so far.
GILLETTE’S ‘THE BEST MEN CAN BE'
In recent years huge progress has been made in opening up the discussion surrounding gender inequality, sexual harassment of women, men’s hidden mental health issues, bullying, and more. Unfortunately, at the root of all these issues lies a common denominator – ingrained and internalised misogyny.
Gillette’s campaign, ‘the best men can be’, acts as a way of the company standing up and taking responsibilities for their own shortcomings, as well as those of men on a larger scale. The campaign hinged on a video that depicted all too often normalised, yet very harmful, behaviours that perpetuate societal issues, but with a narrative that makes clear that this isn’t the way that things need to be.
Gillette acknowledged that the status quo just isn’t good enough, and that the narrative surrounding what a man ‘should’ be and how a man ‘should’ act, needs to change. The campaign isn’t about criticising the past or present, but is instead about encouraging men everywhere to show up as their best, every single day.
On top of their hugely impactful campaign video, Gillette have pledged to donate $1 million a year, for three years, to non-profits that have programmes designed to help men of all ages become their best.
Who doesn’t love to read real-life stories of people improving themselves beyond what they thought was possible? This is exactly what Fitbit’s #MyReasonIs campaign is all about. From thousands of personal entries, Fitbit collated their top picks and shared the ‘Fitbit stories’ across social media to inspire and encourage others to chase their own goals.
Whether it was overcoming a medical diagnosis, confronting adversary, or supporting loved ones, these Fitbit wearers used their devices to better their minds, bodies, and lives in one fell swoop. Each person had a driving force for their change, and their Fitbits helped them on their journey.
This kind of campaign – showcasing real people and lived experiences of using a product – are far more powerful than any advert detailing product specs. Adding this human touch makes the campaign more impactful, and it shows how a Fitbit can add value to a person’s life beyond tracking steps or recording workouts.
Dove, a company known for standing up for those who are marginalised and for making normal bodies visible in mainstream media, has decided that enough is enough, and is pushing to end race-based hair discrimination with their #PassTheCrown campaign.
The campaign is the face of their CROWN coalition and CROWN Act – the anti-hair discrimination legislation, which prohibits discrimination based on a person’s hair. We’re used to seeing the hair of white people in the media, which creates an unconscious internal bias that opposes other ethnic styles – for example, a Black person’s natural hair. In order to combat this bias, people of colour unfortunately feel like they must conform to white standards, and alter their natural appearance so that they don’t face yet another form of discrimination in their everyday life.
Dove’s campaign is standing up to say that this is not okay, and this is not acceptable. The campaign is allowing individuals all over the world to be entirely themselves, and is raising awareness for the issues that people of colour face every day, because of something as harmless as their hair.
For individuals in the LGBTQ+ community, identity is enormously important, and it’s just as important that those out-with the community endeavour to communicate an LGBTQ+ person’s identity correctly. Whether it’s their pronouns, their sexuality, or their name; getting it right matters.
For a transgender individual, a name holds so much power and emotion. It can signify a life that they no longer identify with, a past that they’d rather move on from, or the acceptance of who they really are. This is where Starbucks’ #WhatsYourName campaign comes in. They’re striving to create a fully inclusive brand culture for all their staff and customers, and this is just one piece of the puzzle.
The campaign is their way of saying to the world and the communities that need it, that their stores are safe spaces where people can be their true selves, and can be accepted and recognised just as they are. As well as getting this vital message out there, Starbucks has also partnered with the UK Mermaids charity, who help gender diverse individuals and their families.
There’s something that all of these campaigns have in common, and it’s their focus on real people and real lives. This has created campaigns that feel authentic, and humanise the brands who made them. We’re sure 2021 has still got a number of great digital marketing campaigns up its sleeve yet, and you never know, one of them might even come in to take a position in our top four!
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