It’s going to be very apparent very quickly that I spent a LOT of time watching a LOT of videos in April. Let’s just call it “research” for this post. You’re welcome.
If you’re catching this series for the first time, here’s a little behind-the-scenes of how we put it together. At Drift, we have a Slack channel called #marketing-swipe-file. It’s where anyone at Drift (not just marketers) can drop a link to a campaign that caught their eye.
At the end of each month, we comb through the channel to pick out the best of the best marketing campaigns, and that’s what you’re about to read right now – our five favorite campaigns from April 2021.
1. Google’s Extremely Human Ad, Without Any Humans
I could’ve started and ended the post with this one ad from Google. A great example of the power of words, music, and sound design can into our most personal experiences. It definitely took me back to all the times last year I hunched over my keyboard asking Google questions and trying to make sense of a very uncertain time.
It’s worth noting there’s not a single person in this spot, but it’s way more personal than a lot of the dime-a-dozen end of the pandemic spots that are coming out lately. This stands out because it is simple, specific, and powerful.
2. A Crash Course in ‘Show Business,’ from Wistia
Confession: I’m not the speediest when it comes to opening emails, reading emails, responding to emails. Try as I may, I will never be an inbox zero gal. But when Wistia sends me an email that says “We have something to *show* you,” you’d better believe I’m opening that ASAP.
And I’m so glad I did. Because what Wistia had to *show* me was Show Business, a 20-episode video series on how to create a compelling video series or podcast for your brand. It’s meta, it’s punny, and it’s so well done. Wistia spent over a year developing these trainings that are split into four sections (development, pre-production, production, and promotion), plus a certification. Not only is the series itself swipe-file-worthy, but the landing page design, on-screen talent, trailers, copywriting…everything just WORKS. You get the vibe that you will not only learn a ton, but you will actually have fun (and be entertained) along the way.
3. An Earth Day Campaign by Panera That Bread Bowl’d Me Over
This is the portion of the blog post where I make you hungry. But don’t worry, we’re halfway there. So without further ado, I present you Panera’s Earth Day campaign. Look closely at that very hip bike and you’ll see that where the basket should be, they’ve gone and put a bread bowl of all things.
We all know bikes are better for the environment, but since the pandemic set in, there’s also been a big bike shortage. So from April 14-April 22, Panera gave people a chance to win one of 30 custom beach cruiser bikes – complete with an insulated bread bowl basket attached to the handlebar. Satisfying your hunger plus doing something that’s good for the planet? Sign me up. (Sadly the promotion has now ended, but thankfully Panera’s real bread bowls made of actual bread are available year-round.)
4. Morning Consult’s Report on the Most Trusted Brands
Morning Consult surveyed over 330,000 people to find the top 15 most trusted brands in 2021. On the report’s leaderboard, you’ll find household names like Google, Amazon, Netflix, and Disney.
But surprisingly not on the list? Apple and Tesla. Despite profitability, these two giants just didn’t make the trust cut. I’ll let you make your own inferences there, but it’s definitely good food for thought as more and more B2B businesses set out to build buyer-centric companies. Especially since the report found that 80% of consumers surveyed said they stopped buying from a brand that lost their trust (and have often switched to a competitor).
5. The Progressive Ad Where Nothing Happens
This is one of those “why am I watching this commercial” commercials, when you watch for long enough that you have the option to skip it, but for some reason, you just keep watching it. Even the name ‘The Ad Where Nothing Happens,’ should tell you not to spend time on it. But still, you watch it.
Now something actually does happen that makes it all worth it. But got me thinking about why it was so effective. There were definitely good reminders in here about brand consistency, “reading the room,” and the power of a celebrity cameo. And for what it’s worth, I know I won’t be so eager to skip a Progressive commercial the next time one comes on.
What marketing inspiration have you come across lately? Send me a message on LinkedIn and help me add to my list.