3 brand campaigns you’ll wish you came up with

ibis hotels

In the good old days, people went on vacation with one simple goal in mind: to have a great time.

If you made it back home with one or two photos good enough for your mum to stick in a frame, life was good.

Things are different now. Expectations are high.

Instagram pages must be updated daily with stunning snapshots of every cocktail, sunbathing session and sightseeing trip. Followers must be sick with envy and obsessively emoji-hearting your photos like their lives depend on it.

What this amounts to is a whole load of work and pressure.

And wait… isn’t the whole point of vacationing to escape those exact two things?

European hotel chain ibis think so. Which is why it’s offering guests staying in Geneva or Zurich a “social media sitter” during their stay (for a small fee).

As the name implies, the sitters will take your Insta account off your hands all holiday, filling your friends’ feeds with an endless stream of gorgeous shots. You can even choose to have an influencer take over your account.

All posts will be labelled #postedbysocialmediasitter.

This campaign is so simple but so genius. Let’s look at all the boxes it ticks:

  • Current = tick
  • Innovative = tick
  • Appealing to younger demographic = tick
  • Worthy of global press mentions = tick
  • Enhances customer experience = tick
  • Improves quality of brand-related content on social media = tick
  • Leverages influencers to boost awareness = tick

I’m now seriously wondering whether SMSW should branch out into the vacation market…


Boursorama Banque/ASOS

Do you remember the last time you bought something online without scouring the internet for a discount code before clicking “pay”?

If you’re a savvy online shopper, the answer is probably no. If you’re a savvy online shopper under the age of 35, the answer is definitely no.

For younger generations, discount codes are a way of life. Inboxes are crammed with emails from this brand and that brand, all most likely luring consumers in with the promise of some price drop or other.

This month, French bank Boursorama Banque used everyone’s obsession with discount codes to attract a younger generation of customers as part of a – wait for it – offline campaign.

The company collaborated with fashion powerhouse ASOS to produce a 253 character printed code that could only be redeemed online.

Photo: The Current Daily

Here’s the text in full, with spaces: We All Know That Young People Don’t Read Adverts For Banks So Just To Say That Boursorama Bank Is The Cheapest Online Bank For Young Clients Instead Of Publishing An Ad That You Wouldn’t Have Read We’re Saying It In This Very Very Long Discount Code That You Are Going To Have To Retype To Get Your Clothes Cheaper On ASOS.

As you can see, it cleverly played on how boring bank ads usually are and how effectively they manage to alienate anyone under the age of 50.

Not only is the extra-long discount code format a smart way of attracting attention, but the fact that it literally saves readers money is a great nod to the brand’s claim to be the cheapest online bank.

The decent 20% discount combined with the prominent ASOS logo is basically Boursorama’s way of saying “we’re down with the kids, yo”. To be fair, it will probably work really well.

Another thing I really like about this campaign is, unlike most discount codes, this one has to be typed in manually.

People who want that 20% off badly enough will get to know the brand’s core message very well while typing it in one letter at a time.


Burger King

Awesome Burger King campaigns are not hard to come by. I see one pretty much every month that deserves a shoutout in these monthly roundups. But just in case you all start to think I’m obsessed with Burger King (not true at all…), I only bring you the best of the best.

Sometimes, the brand goes all intellectual and uses ads to educate us on things like net neutrality. Other times, it goes pure playground and does the dirty on arch rival McDonald’s.

This is a strong case of the latter.

With Whopper Detour, Burger King is using location-tracking trickery to allow anyone within 600ft of McDonald’s to get a Whopper burger for 1¢.

The “Only ‘at’ McDonald’s” strapline is the killer for me. Need some ice for that burn, Ronald?

The campaign was designed to encourage app downloads; you can only claim your 1¢ Whopper by downloading it first.

Unfortunately, you can also only claim it once.

Starting beef with your competitors is precarious territory and only works if perfectly executed. My advice would be to think carefully before trying anything like this.

But when done right, the instigating brand comes across cheeky/cunning not bitter/mean.

In the absolute best-case scenarios, the other brand gets involved too and that really is a win-win. Note: this has happened before with Burger King and McDonald’s.