As the halfway point of 2019 approaches, we think it’s time to highlight some of the most exciting, interesting, risky, and just plain best ad campaigns of the year so far. While we won’t necessarily see the sales impacts of these campaigns for some months, it’s worth considering what the hype around them has meant for their brands in the short-term.
The Best Ad Campaigns of 2019 So Far
Volkswagen’s “Hello Light” Spot
We’ll start off with possibly the riskiest ad on this list. During Game 3 of the NBA finals, VW launched what may be the most outside-the-box ad since its famous 1959 “Think Small” print. But why exactly? Basically, the ad breaks a major rule of advertising.
As Car and Driver points out, it’s long been accepted that you never mention anything unpleasant in an ad, because no matter what the ultimate message is, the audience will only focus on the negatives. Nevertheless, VW’s “Hello Light” opens with soundbites from radio reports about the company’s “Dieselgate scandal” from 2015, reminding viewers right away of how the company cheated emissions tests with diesel cars sold to Americans. It then spins a tale of self-reckoning and redemption to a Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack, before introducing a new electric concept car.
Critics warn that the ad could bring up bad blood that customers had largely forgotten. But as the company has seen sales rebounds since 2015, the new commercial’s combination of nostalgia and modern priorities may actually work. Only time will tell.
Bud Light + Game of Thrones for the Superbowl
Bud Light and HBO collaborated to deliver two mind-bending and somewhat sassy Superbowl spots with true entertainment appeal this year, both of which deserve a spot on our list of best ad campaigns.
For Bud Light’s part, it also chose to take a risk: calling out competitors like Coors Light for using corn syrup in their beers. Critics have pointed out that Budweiser also uses corn syrup, just not in traditional Bud Light. But there’s no doubt the Game of Thrones-themed Super Bowl ad caught eyes with its humorous approach.
Either way, Bud was able to ride the wave of an HBO collaboration when a second ad featuring Bud Knight turned out to be a promo for the highly anticipated final season of Game of Thrones.
KFC’s Bucket Bangers
KFC recently launched a digital marketing campaign using one of the internet’s greatest offshoots: music streaming. The brand collaborated with Spotify to create a playlist of 46 hip-hop songs that reference KFC.
Instead of building brand awareness from scratch, it simply aggregated and promoted messaging that was already there. In this creative and mutually beneficial process, KFC not only got to ride the wave of its own organic brand presence but also threw exposure to the musicians included… though few would argue that artists like Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar need any help in the marketing department. Still, in the end, users got to enjoy great music while celebrating The Colonel.
Dove’s Project #ShowUs
Dove has partnered with Girlgaze Photographers and Getty Images to collect about 5,000 of photos “of women by women.” This is just the latest marketing campaign in Dove’s efforts to redefine beauty standards in media and advertising.
The photos, all taken by women and woman-identifying photographers, aim to show a more accurate picture of the world’s women, inspired by a statistic that says 70% of women still don’t feel represented by traditional branding. The photo library shows a diversity of racial and gender identities, body types, abilities, cultures, fashion choices, hairstyles and more, while marketing material features slogans like, “Show us more women who look like me” and “Show us all hair is professional.”
According to Digital Agency Network, Dove, Girlgaze, and Getty Images will all feature the photos on their websites, marketing materials, and social platforms, and plan to use the hashtag #ShowUs to prompt similar user-generated content.
Love on Every Billboard
Sometimes the best ad campaigns aren’t selling anything at all. In the case of Love on Every Billboard, which Bloom Ads helped launch, the only message is “love,” which is why creator John Pogachar has rented billboards across the globe – including Russia! – that say only that. What started as a single red billboard featuring the word LOVE in Spokane, Washington, has grown into a phenomenon inspiring people to simply spread love.
In February, the TODAY show covered the campaign, and a billboard was even featured in the music video for Jason Mraz’s “Love is Still the Answer.”
No matter what your message is, Bloom Ads has the creative energy and expertise to help you spread it. We’re media-obsessed, and we’re happy to work hard for all of our clients. To learn more, visit our website and check out the advertising services we offer at Bloom Ads.