Have a look at our favourite creative advertising campaigns and why they worked. As consumers, we come across hundreds of ads each day and most go in one ear and out the other, often there is so much information for our brains to sift through, that we don’t pay attention to what we are seeing, hearing or watching. There is so much noise – so how does a business stand out. The offline research that goes into advertising campaigns is really key to developing advertising that works.

Have you ever seen an ad that really left you thinking? Some ads have the power to break through the everyday mundane and actually leave an impact on us. So what do these ads have in common? Well, the biggest common factor is that they all, no matter how big or small, appeal to our emotions in one way or another. (Regular readers will remember the academic research article by Robert Caldiani “the science of persuasion” that delves deeply into this field of thought). Whether just about the magic of Christmas or encouraging young girls to embrace their talents and stand as strong young women, the most successful advertising campaigns always appeal to our emotions in one way or another.

Here at TSBF Central, we’ve rounded up our favourite advertising campaigns to inspire you when creating your own.

  1. Always, #LikeAGirl

Procter & Gamble, the parent company to Always, conducted a study and found that more than half of girls surveyed in the US felt that they had a drop of confidence when they reached puberty. The brand took this information and created the #LikeAGirl campaign, aimed at taking a once negative phrase used as an insult, and changing it into something positive and empowering for young girls. The campaign actually had a huge impact, and after it ran, 76% of people that P&G surveyed said that they now saw the phrase positively. Two in three men surveyed also said that they would think twice before using ‘like a girl’ as an insult.

  1. John Lewis Christmas Advertising, 2012-Present

The British department store, John Lewis is famous world wide for its Christmas adverts. Every year, the campaign is highly anticipated, critiqued and often parodied by other stores and supermarkets. At TSBF Central, our personal favourite comes from the year 2015. The Advert is magical and shows an elderly man alone on the moon, while a young girl watched him from a telescope in her bedroom window. The end shows the girl sending her own Christmas gift to the man- a telescope so that he can see her too and won’t be lonely anymore. The message, we are all connected. The advert really captured the spirit of giving which Christmas is all about. They also decided to walk the walk offline by donating a percentage of sales to charity. This ad appealed to people’s emotions. This meant that the campaign took in over £1 million pounds in donations for charities, and resulted in the store’s highest Christmas sales at the time.

  1. Ariel, ‘Share the Load’ (India)

Probably a lesser well-known campaign in the west, but is still one of our personal favourites. The ‘Share the Load’ campaign is aimed at facing gender roles between men and woman in India. The advert shows a father in India who looks on as his daughter returns from work. The ad shows the woman snowed under with household tasks. Her son needs his shirt washed, her husband demands his dinner and her living room needs to be cleaned. The question asked is ‘Why is Laundry only a mother’s job?’ Ariel wanted the ad to encourage fathers to help with household tasks that they would expect the women in their lives to do. Off course they sold lots of detergents while they were at it.


  1. Domino’s, Wedding Registry


Sometimes it’s just the weirdest advertising campaigns that make us sit up and pay attention. Domino’s has created a huge deal on conversation –and controversy- over their newest campaign. They recently released a campaign allowing couples to host their wedding registry with the pizza chain. And while we don’t know how many people actually took them up on the offer, the advertising stunt definitely gained the attention the company wanted for the brand. Not quite sure we’d want to get married in a pizza place though.

  1. Dove, Real Beauty


Here at SBF central, this campaign by Dove is definitely one of our favourites. The tagline for this campaign is “Imagine the world – where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety”, and it has been turning heads since its launch in 2004. It’s a simple but effective approach to persona marketing: They created ads around a topic they knew was sensitive but also meaningful to their customers.The results? The different videos showing Dove’s sketches were viewed more than 114 million times, shared 3.74 million times, uploaded in 25 languages, and seen in 110 countries. The PR and blogger media impression amounted to over 4 billion. It clearly resonated with their audience — and people were touched both by the ads and by the statistics Dove used to back up their message.

All of these creative advertising campaigns reached out to the emotions of the consumer.  They all harness the science of persuasion by creating a connection.  To create a powerful connection though, your business needs a strong brand message.  You need to know what it stands for and what you are trying to say.  That’s where the magic happens – when you have the message and you hit the target.

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