In the ever-evolving marketing landscape, success often lies in the ability to break free from conventional thinking and embrace a fresh perspective. At SweetScience, we pride ourselves on being a performance agency dedicated to propelling challenger brands into winning brands. We understand the transformative power that comes with shifting viewpoints and questioning assumptions. The best opportunities for challengers emerge when we observe problems through unexpected lenses.
We have chosen our top five 2023 advertising campaigns - each a testament to the transformative power of perspective and creativity.
SweetScience’s roundup of the top five ads of 2023:
To us, these ads and creative executions push boundaries but have also set new benchmarks for creativity and effectiveness.
Barbie – Pink Billboard:
The Barbie movie's marketing campaign is a striking example of the power of brand recognition, using the iconic Barbie pink color without written language. A simple billboard featuring this distinctive shade and the movie's release date effectively highlights the clever use of one of the world's most recognizable brand colors. Targeting a new adult audience, the campaign taps into nostalgia and curiosity surrounding Warner Bros' Barbie film. In 2023, this marketing phenomenon incorporates AI, interactivity, and many integrated product partnerships, setting a standard for effective and innovative promotion. A brilliant example for marketers to learn from, this campaign will undoubtedly influence future strategies.
SweetScience advice: Whatever your brand ‘thing’ is (e.g. color, a sound or an icon) - lean into it and create repeatable uses across all your channels.
Chevrolet – ‘A Holiday to Remember’:
Chevrolet and Commonwealth//McCann unveil "A Holiday to Remember," a narrative crafted with Academy Award-winning director Tom Hooper, just in time for the holiday season (grab a tissue before watching!). This marks the third consecutive year of Chevy's holiday ads featuring classic cars, reinforcing the brand's identity and connections to family and community. Against the backdrop of a heartfelt journey guided by a 1972 Chevy Suburban, the campaign captivates with nostalgia, evoking the spirit of the season through sentimental storytelling and a timeless soundtrack.
SweetScience advice: Consistency is rewarded. Whether it’s a piece of research or an emotional holiday video, be consistent and your customers will celebrate you. Tell stories about your customers and create an experience that connects to their life.
Heinz & Absolut Vodka – ‘Penne Alla Absolut Vodka’:
Heinz and Absolut join forces for a limited edition tomato vodka pasta sauce, blending Heinz's pasta sauce expertise with Absolut Vodka. With the cooked pasta elegantly enveloping an Absolut vodka bottle and the Heinz sauce prominently positioned in the foreground, the advertisement cleverly communicates the harmonious marriage of these iconic brands. The Heinz x Absolut Tomato Vodka Pasta Sauce is a delectable fusion that elevates the pasta game, offering a noteworthy addition to the culinary landscape.
SweetScience advice: Look for unique partnerships that elevate your brand by association. It could be with a brand in the same category such as food or with a non-profit or association that is able to tell the story for you.
Apple – ‘Mother Nature’:
Apple's "Mother Nature" campaign revolutionizes sustainability reporting by infusing data with humor and drama, elevating it beyond conventional reports. The campaign not only highlights Apple's environmental achievements but also humanizes the brand through a captivating narrative, symbolizing social struggles of gender and race. By balancing data, storytelling, and representation, Apple sets a new storytelling standard, not just selling a product but a visionary lifestyle aligned with global conversations about equality.
SweetScience advice: While this is clearly an involved and pricey production, we think that bringing any reports or sales enablement tools to life is always more engaging. Celebrate accomplishments with a splash of humor.
Progressive – ‘Fast Casual’
Progressive’s advertisement featuring Dr. Rick cleverly taps into the humorous challenges young homeowners face when ordering lunch, symbolizing the relatable struggle of becoming one’s parents. Dr. Rick, acting as the guide through this comedic journey, assists young homeowners in navigating the seemingly simple task of ordering food. The highlight of this advertisement is that it appeals across generations, underscoring the campaign’s exceptional ability to connect with diverse audiences through its relatability and humor. The advertisement’s witty narrative, reliability, and Dr. Rick’s role in humorously addressing the nuances of adulting, make it an engaging and memorable piece.
SweetScience advice: Infuse universal humor and relatable experiences into your narratives as a way to create content with cross-generational appeal. Embrace a blend of modernity and nostalgia to ensure broad resonance and engagement.
As 2023 draws to a close, we invite you to embark on a journey with us. A journey that starts with a fresh perspective that has the potential to transform your brand's future. Here's to a New Year! May it be filled with innovation, creativity, and unparalleled performance!