5 so-good-you’ll-wish-you-thought-of-them brand campaigns

5 so-good-you’ll-wish-you-thought-of-them brand campaigns

We promise we’re not on commission for Nike, although you’d be forgiven for wondering whether we were given that another of its campaigns has raced into our roundup. That’s the third month running! I’m having a lot of pun fun here.

After April’s ‘Breaking 2’ marathon and May’s ‘badge of honor’ bandages, the most recent shoutout-worthy project from the iconic sports retailer is an interactive pop-up from Manila, Philippines, which is being hailed as the world’s first LED running track.

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If you’re a fan of night running (a time when I personally prefer to consume, not lose, calories), the 200m long footprint-shaped track – which essentially lets you race yourself – will suit you down to the ground.

After setting the pace on the first lap (with a sensor attached to your sneakers), you then begin the course again. But the second time round, you are joined by an LED avatar – which moves at the speed you set on your initial lap.

Up to 30 runners can take part at any one time.


2. River Island
Working with influencers is something plenty of brands do. It’s a great way for them to tap into a social star’s popularity and a great way for the individual themselves to fill their lives with tons of free stuff (and bank accounts with $$$).

The collaborations themselves take loads of different forms, but the most common is the ‘we’ll send you a product, you post about it’ model.

River Island however, have taken things one step… sorry, one flight… further this summer by inviting not one, not two, but eight influencers (or ‘creatives’ as it’s calling them) to the sunny shores of Crete, Greece for their ‘Take Me To The Island’ campaign.

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Cleverly nodding to several insanely popular reality TV shows, the campaign involves the entire bunch of bloggers heading off on holiday to see the sights, sample the food and – most importantly – create tons of content wearing RI outfits.

Although high budget (we imagine an all-expenses paid holiday for eight + a crew + blogger fees doesn’t come cheap), this campaign will almost certainly pay off for the brand; there are few better ways to show off a summer collection than through a stack of beautifully shot photos featuring beautiful people in a beautiful location.


3. KLM
Prepare for the first of two travel-related entries this month. Can you tell we’re in vacay mode?

First up is the ‘KLM Care Tag’ from Dutch airline KLM, which looks kind of like a regular luggage tag but is far cooler (which isn’t hard, to be fair).

The Care Tag has built-in offline GPS technology, which it uses to track your precise location (as long as you’re in Amsterdam). Your whereabouts then trigger real-time audio tips.

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The device can be ordered online for free, and although it’s currently only available in English, there are more versions in the pipeline (Chinese, Portuguese, German and Russian).

The info preloaded into the Care Tag isn’t your average super-dull guidebook type – there are literally hundreds of juicy must-know tips inputted by the airline’s very own crew members. Expect actual useful stuff, such as when to watch out for pickpockets, how to hire a bike, and where to find the best local food.

This campaign is a great example of a brand exploring innovative ways to offer something of real value to a target audience without requiring anything in return.


4. Kayak
The next travel brand to land a spot in this month’s review is travel management company Kayak (yes, the same legendary guys and gals who created a spreadsheet version of their site so visitors could book their vacay while appearing to work).

The brand’s latest campaign #LoveLetters encourages people to share their personal travel stories with the aim of bringing everyone together, sharing ideas and cultures, and promoting the infinite benefits travel offers.

The campaign’s sentiment is great, and its use of video is super current – but it’s the supporting social content that really caught our eye.

As you can see in the Facebook ad below, the brand chose to confront stereotypes about European cities head on, knowing that this tactic would provoke a much more intense response than simply discussing the main campaign concept.

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While viewers’ first reaction to the visual may well be outrage or offence, on second glance they are quickly reassured that all’s not what it seems as the image text puts a positive spin on the initial statement.

Evoking a negative emotional response in this way isn’t without risk, but it can be really effective at hooking people in if done well.


5. Sports Experts
I won’t lie to you. This campaign from Canada’s top sports retailer, Sports Experts, is not from June. It’s actually from last Christmas.

Not quite sure how it managed to escape our attention back in late 2016, but now it’s on the radar, it just had to have a place in the roundup.

There’s no doubt that Facebook Live is massive. By far the most popular of the platform’s latest features, Facebook Live daily video views are set to hit the 50 billion mark this summer.

And brands are taking note, increasingly turning to live broadcasting on the world’s biggest social network to connect with and engage their audiences.

Sports Experts marked a Facebook Live first in December with its interactive ‘Grab-a-gift’ game.

Using four of the Reactions buttons, each of which moved the arcade-style machine either left, right, up or down, players had to work together to manoeuvre a digital crane towards one of many different prizes and guide it to the drop zone.

Here it is in action:

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While the game demonstrated a unique way to use the Live feature, and probably drove insane levels of engagements for the brand, it’s worth noting that Facebook doesn’t typically approve of content that uses Reactions for anything other than their intended sentiment-conveying purpose.