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Memorable Ad Campaigns: 7 Effective Advertising Tactics Brands Use

Highly-anticipated events such as the Olympics, Super Bowl, and the Oscars allow advertisers to take advantage of high viewership rates by creating memorable ad campaigns. In fact, the 2022 Beijing Olympics averaged one billion ad impressions per day—and their ads achieved a 98% completion rate.   

This raises an interesting question: What characteristics differentiate great advertising from poor brand exposure? Continue reading as we dive deep into seven tactics that make memorable ad campaigns

7 Tactics that Make Memorable Ad Campaigns

Successful advertising is about accomplishing three critical objectives: Increasing brand awareness, facilitating audience engagement, and influencing purchase decisions. Events like the Super Bowl tend to average around 80–100 commercials.  When it comes to Oscar advertising trends, the latest ceremony generated $139 million through 70 ads

As advertising trends progress, well-established companies will continue to leverage the popularity of annual events to increase brand recognition. With that said, here are seven strategies that result in memorable ad campaigns.

1. Communicate a Clear Brand Message

The average audience doesn’t want to be exposed to complex commercials that dive deep into complicated messaging theories. To stand out from the clutter of poor ads, your message must be brief and simple—yet convey your brand’s unique value. 

Who could forget the classic 2014 Cars.com Wolf Commercial where a couple finds it strange that buying a used car from Cars.com isn’t a complex process? The ad is effective because it conveys the brand’s selling point of taking the drama out of purchasing a used vehicle.

The 2022 Winter Olympics Wealthfront advertisement cleverly combines humor and brand exposure elements by turning it into a 60-second narrative. The investment drama we see is just a setup for the relaxed couple who seem more concerned about french toast. The brand message: Wealthfront provides peace of mind when investing in solid funds over the long run.   

2. Tell a Story

Telling a memorable story involves more than conveying a meaningful message. It’s about establishing a long-term connection with your target audience with a clear beginning, middle, and end. A good story also fosters trust by being entertaining, making it easier to capture your audience’s attention.

Budweiser’s 2014 Puppy Love ad is an example of successful storytelling. In just one minute, we see a heartwarming friendship between a puppy and a Clydesdale horse developing, eventually leading to a satisfying conclusion. The story from this ad reinforces the message that Budweiser brings people together. 

Consider VISA’s 2010 Go World ad as another example of a narrative. The story about a Norwegian coach offering Sara Renner a ski pole to complete her cross-country ski race is heartwarming. Canadians sending the coach maple syrup is a bonus that elevates VISA’s message about bringing people together to cheer on athletes worldwide.

3. Tap into Emotions

Sometimes, it’s important to step away from amusing 30-second ads about beer brands and focus our attention on tackling serious ongoing issues. Commercials addressing societal issues are a great example. The 2015 NO MORE Domestic Violence ad is a powerful advertisement.

The message about domestic violence is clear and concise while resonating with survivors who’ve actually gone through this ordeal. The ad does an incredible job of drawing attention to a very real problem (and the NO MORE organization).

If you want an example of good Academy Awards advertising trends, look no further than Nike’s 2019 Dream Crazier ad. This one also taps into our emotional side. It does so by injecting elements of motivation, inspiration, and courage while raising much-needed awareness about gender equality in 90 seconds. 

4. Harmonize with Modern Values

It’s beneficial for brands to keep up with ideas that reflect our interconnected world. These can include openness, freedom, kindness, community, and diversity. Coca-Cola’s America the Beautiful advertisement from 2014 does a great job of presenting our country’s diverse demographics while promoting inclusion and harmony.  It also reinforces the reality that diversity remains crucial in advertising

Nike’s Unlimited Together ad aired during the 2016 Rio Olympic games beautifully emphasizes the need for unity that transcends all aspects of life—the music, gestures, scenery, and stories combined to express a message about support and reliance.   

5. Surprise Audiences

Who doesn’t love a commercial that fools its audiences by adding a clever twist to the viewing experience? Not only is a twist a memorable tactic, but it can also exemplify a brand’s dedication to creativity. Football fans will remember Tom Brady’s Big Announcement for Hulu that aired during the 2020 Super Bowl. 

Hulu capitalized on a football legend’s retirement contemplation by turning it into an opportunity to promote its services (and we won’t comment on how the ad plays today after Brady’s indecisiveness has become a bit less cute.)

Sometimes, you don’t need a twist to surprise your audience. You just need to be clever with your tactics. Take the Chobani TV spot from the 2016 Summer Olympics. In just 15 seconds, the yogurt brand cleverly conveys the message that you can only be great if you don’t allow bad stuff in your body. It’s a subtle-yet-decisive message that resonates with all of us.

6. Establish Credibility

It’s not enough to say that your brand is the best. Credibility needs to be earned. Your company must convey they really know what they’re doing, as consumers can spot a deceitful ad. How does this translate to effective advertising strategies? 

Consider the T-Mobile Home Internet ad featuring actor John Travolta alongside current spokespeople Zach Braff and Donald Faison. Aside from the catchy tune—a parody of “Summer Nights” from Grease—the company did an incredible job at simplifying home internet service and demonstrating credibility by explaining its competitive benefits, including optimized speed and single-cord usage. 

You can also see credibility established in commercials during Oscars ceremonies. The Verizon TV spot released during the 2019 Academy Awards ceremony shows the brand’s capacity to streamline personal communication while breaking down language barriers.     

7. Establish a Clear Tone

Humor is an effective tactic in many memorable ads. However, that doesn’t mean laughter works for every brand. As we’ve seen from the aforementioned examples, memorable commercials can utilize various tones. 

Some brands focus on promoting positivity. Microsoft’s We All Win advertisement from 2019 hits the mark with optimism, hope, and inclusivity. It works because it shows how children who’ve faced significant setbacks can still enjoy what they love…such as gaming.

Here’s another example of a commercial injecting a clear tone: Coca-Cola’s Open Happiness ad that aired during the 2010 Vancouver Games. Aside from the snowball fights (which proved to be entertaining), the message about enjoying the simple things in life injects positivity into the viewer’s mindset. It also demonstrates how Coke provides a subtle refreshment in times of need.   

How YouTube Influences Ad Campaigns

YouTube is an accelerator when it comes to brand popularity and ad exposure. The reactions commercials generate during highly-anticipated TV events are so influential, content creators spend hours reviewing memorable advertisements and modifying their strategies to accelerate audience engagement. This helps advertisers expand their reach, build their brand, and connect with the right YouTube audience. 

And that is our specialty at Channel Factory. Our mission is to help your organization nurture the right YouTube audience and amplify your brand. Annual events will continue to evolve, viewership rates will fluctuate, and consumer demands will indeed change. This means keeping up with future ad trends is crucial to rising above competitors. 

Amplify Your Brand Message with Channel Factory

Memorable ad campaigns are effective because they stick to a brand’s tone, use clever twists to impact audiences, and deliver clear messages with a call to action. Channel Factory is ready to serve you and help you accelerate your brand. 

We help realign your content and deliver quality ads to your target audience. Contact us to see how we can serve you best.