What makes a winning marketing campaign?

How marketers can leverage their brand to resonate with shoppers: Best Father’s Day campaigns.

Anam Khawar, Marketing Manager, E Fundamentals.gif

Anam Khawar - Marketing Manager

A strategic marketer of six years, Anam has worked across the entire brand marketing & communication mix for a broad range of sectors. 

Oriental dad and daughter on laptop.jpg

Key Takeaways

  • Does a superbrand need a call to action?

  • An omnichannel strategy requires careful consideration of its touchpoints; when should you convey your features, benefits and brand mission statement?

  • Integrate your multiple touch points together by making references to your other channels, if not by leading them to the next landing page altogether

  • Quality over quantity; let's move away from posting regular yet not as valuable content

To Consider

  • At what point does a brand’s mission statement become too far removed from the product / service and becomes just plain ridiculous?

One of the most powerful tools in a marketer’s arsenal is their brand. By creating strong associations with your products and a higher ideal, establishes the brand in the mind of the shopper as an aspiration. If the shopper wants to achieve the aspirational goal, to become the kind of person they associate with using that brand, all they have to do is buy it too. It’s what differentiates the market-leading brands from the rest.

Brands often ride the social wave by leveraging key trading periods of the year; it’s the time of year when everyone is talking about the same thing giving your campaigns a higher chance to be picked up, but equally drowned out when not executed well.
Father’s Day gifts create revenue worth £700 million per year, so in lead up to it we looked into five popular video campaigns that have tried to convince shoppers that their product is the one you need. We break down the execution to highlight the difference between the concepts and strategy…. and why you need both.


The Best Father's Day Campaigns

“What drives you?”

“Sometimes we need our fathers, sometimes they need us” – A former racing driver is depressed, bound to a wheelchair and spends his time watching old videos of his glory days winning races. His son just turned 16, received a drivers licence and a very nice electric BMW car in which he takes his dad for a ride to reminisce the good old days.

The creative of this ad is executed well, there is a story, there is build up, there is emotion. However, unless you are studying the ad carefully, you can easily miss that the advert is for BMW. You get to the end and are left with a heartfelt message but no clear call to action. Arguably when you’ve built a brand as easily recognisable as BMW, you can afford to take liberties and not play by the rules. After all, nobody would read the product description of Coca-cola before they buy it but they will for a brand new fizzy drink that just launched in the market. There are various direct and indirect ways of rounding off your advert so after you’ve taken the viewer on a journey, you bring them back down and give them a nudge to purchase. By not doing that all you’ve got is a cinematic experience. Which...depending on your strategy, works too.

“My dad, my hero”

Here Kleenex set the scene with a careers day in a primary school. The dads think they’re going to talk about their jobs to the kids but instead their kids talk to them about their real job of being their dad. “You have the best job ever, and that job is being a dad”. The campaign demonstrates Kleenex’s brand message of “helping others by giving a simple message of care”.

Instead of highlighting the product itself, Kleenex smartly highlighted the context in which a tissue might be needed, shared stories and then ended with their logo and messaging. Their byline of  “One soft tissue is all it takes to show you care” pops up on the top right hand side towards the end which is a smart way of making it clear for the viewer what it is that they’re promoting without it being intrusive. This has a nice balance between the product and the concept that the product is promoting though whether it’s memorable or not is arguable.


Men+care 2017 - Not just for dads but to “celebrate all men who were there to care”, grandfathers, uncles, teachers, coaches

What’s great about this concept is that it spreads a wider net beyond the father - son relationship and includes all men in the Father’s day narrative (which then also increases the chances for higher sales). The message of thanking a father-figure on Father’s day would really resonate with people who grew up without one. It’s emotionally impactful for people to feel included and positive about a day that could otherwise be depressing and makes them appreciate what they have instead of what they are missing.

The use of the hashtag “who was #theretocare for you?”, encourages people to publicly thank their father-figures on Twitter, which creates further engagement and spreads the video to a wider audience. Additionally, Dove really went out of their way to put together multiple stories and weave them into a series of video campaigns. This nicely feeds into the binge culture where viewers get roped into watching a series of videos that they never really planned on watching.


“Show some love… offline” 

It seems counter-intuitive at first for a network brand to be telling people to put down their phones and interact in real life, especially as the ad finishes with “Power to real conversations”. On the surface it might seem like Vodaphone is undermining its own offering when in fact it’s smartly doing the complete opposite. The team here have taken the concept of conversing, which existed long before technology, and built that association with Vodaphone so the tool you use to communicate becomes irrelevant.

This interestingly raises an important consideration about omnichannel strategies; at which touch points do you promote and share what information? For example, knowing the benefits and features are going to be important to the shopper, but more so at point of purchase when they’re on your product page on a retailer’s website, or standing in front of the product display in-store. Filling a 30 second video with a list of features and benefits isn’t going to get you the kind of engagement you would hope as that medium should be used to communicate your overarching message instead (balanced with functional information if necessary.) It’s why 65% of viewers skip YouTube ads.


Tanoy takeover

Here shopping families in Tesco are interrupted with tanoy announcements. The announcements are recorded messages of thanks and love to fathers who are with them in the store reinforcing Tesco as the perfect family shop.

The execution of this advert is a fantastic example of very slick integrated marketing. It’s one of the few ads that has embedded its eCommerce marketing into the ad so that upon finishing it presents the viewer with a clickable call to action to shop Tesco's range. The call to action is directly connected to personalised landing pages. However, what’s also noteworthy is that these CTAs are not pushing a sale down their shopper’s throat. They lead to pages that aim to inspire (through recipes) or suggest options (gift ideas) to keep shoppers engaged during the selection process. Often in campaigns this touch point is either overlooked or executed poorly. Here Tesco took a step back to look at the entire journey of the customer and mapped out points of engagement as opposed to unleash a one size fits all interaction. It’s this holistic approach that creates campaigns with the ideal balance between being inspirational yet still commercial.

Tesco’s recent announcement of closing down their direct (non-food) site further reinforces quality over quantity; do less but do it well. In similar principle, L’Oreal were also another global brand who back tracked with their content strategy after seeing the feeble results their hard work was producing. Like all digital enthusiasts, they initially started with promoting fresh material on a regular basis only to find it wasn’t getting the traction they hoped. They then switched to promoting a handful of carefully curated content irregularly and the results changed drastically positioning L’Oreal once again as a brand leader.



There’s a lot of creativity going on here in attempt to compete for the shopper’s attention. What’s more, you’ll notice that these adverts don’t centralise their products within the ad. They’re telling a story in which their product or service is silently implied. Whilst this style of marketing has become common, what still remains is for brands to be able to tie their messaging back to their product with a clear call to action, or as we like to call it… start being creatively commercial. It’s essentially where strategy comes in.

Renowned Marketing professor, Mark Ritson, famously claimed that brands have lost their positioning and as a result, have started to latch onto wider societal issues instead. There could be some truth in that. Though it’s important for brands to stand for something more than just ‘we’d like to sell more of our stuff’, alternatively claiming to solve world hunger as a CPG company might be a bit excessive and a barrier to authentically persuade and connect with your shopper.

The balance of this dichotomy is important. We’ve seen how powerful telling a story is when it comes to visual assets like video. However, by not being able to ground that story into something which is closely related to your product is where branding gets a bad rep from. This is also how you end up with product pages on retailer’s websites that either have no descriptions or purely functional descriptions, not the kind that is actually selling the benefits of the product.

Interaction with shoppers on product pages and in-store are commonly the very last point of the journey. You’ve (hopefully) nurtured them up until that point with your higher ideal so they’re ready to buy. But it’s often this last point of sale that is overlooked in campaigns. Especially when it comes to eCommerce. Making sure your brand story translates all the way through to those functional touch points is just as important as when promoting it throughout your campaign.

How have you found bringing your brand story to life across different channels? Let us know your wins, and challenges you'd like help with by getting in touch below.


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