The Best And Worst Digital Marketing Campaigns Of All Time

The best digital marketing campaigns get into the subconscious of consumers and touch their hearts. They do it by combining social media trends and the emotional connections of visual art while not ignoring the sales aspect of it at the same. When done correctly, they look and feel breathtaking.

However, if the main principles are ignored, they become embarrassing belly-flops, like that Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner. That ad showed people from different walks of life coming together to join a protest. However, it was soon criticized for being insensitive about protests.

That’s why, this article gives you a sketch of what to follow – and what not to follow – when creating your next digital marketing campaign. If you go like Pepsi, there’s a high chance of your image being ruined.

This list contains online campaigns, so you won’t see any more campaigns like the Pepsi one.

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The 5 Best Digital Marketing Campaigns Of All Time

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Bill Gates taking the Ice Bucket challenge - Digital marketing campaigns

TikTok challenges have become quite famous now. But a few years back, Ice Bucket Challenge was pretty big. Many CEOs, actors, and musicians participated in it.

It was a charity-focused challenge to pour a bucket of ice on your head in a social media video. Ultimately, you’d show your support for ALS research.

Read More: How to Get Started With Video Marketing

And this challenge was not initiated by the ALS Association. Two ALS supporters Pat Quinn and Pete Frates started it.

One of the biggest reasons is that it encourages a competitive spirit.

Always #LikeAGirl

The brand, Always, changed the game in marketing by blurring the line between advertising and social impact. It combined a few YouTube videos that showed the phrase “like a girl” negatively and made it into a positive thing.

Spotify Wrapped

Wrapped started as a small feature that tracked what you listened to all year and compiled it into some statistics and a playlist based on your preferences in December. Eventually, this small feature ballooned into a big digital marketing campaign.

This campaign encourages users to share their compilations with others online. It sparked into a yearly thing. Now, people do it every December.

In 2018, people had the chance to have their findings displayed on billboards on Times Square and Piccadilly Circus.

Chipotle #Boorito

For the past 21 years, this brand celebrated “Boorito” during the holiday season, mostly by giving discounts to customers in a spooky costume. Last year, it shook things up a little.

It involved both a mastery of digital marketing and respect for pandemic safety guidelines. They offered services digitally in order to stop overcrowding their store locations. And they did it by asking people to follow them on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok to receive a special discount.

Dollar Shave Club Video

A screenshot from Dollar Shave Club video-Digital marketing campaigns

Using its viral video, this brand was one of the first few that showed the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns. This short video got 27 million views and resulted in a $1 billion buyout.

The irreverence, absurdity, and humor of this video played a big role in its success. In some way, it was a new way of marketing.  Constant motion, abrupt topic changes, and talking directly to the camera were big things in it. At the same time, it didn’t ignore the business.

The 4 Worst Digital Marketing Campaigns Of All Time

McDonald’s #McDStories

Launched in 2012, #McDStories asked people to share their McDonald’s stories on Twitter. But that was the main issue: People started sharing exactly what happened. And it went rough.

You see, people have all sorts of stories. The same was in the case of McDonald’s. From horror stories at the food chain to the company’s animal abuse allegations, it was rough for McDonald’s.

If they had seen their brand with consumers’ eyes, they wouldn’t have started this campaign.

Snapchat’s “Would You Rather?”

Would You Rather challenge featuring Rihanna and Chris Brown - Digital marketing campaigns

Does the above picture look familiar? If not, then here’s a little background: In 2009, Chris Brown had domestic violence allegations on Rihanna.

It was designed by a third-party game call Would You Rather. But it did pass Snapchat’s review process and went live. And soon, it was criticized for being insensitive.

Even Rihanna made a statement: “I’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb! You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it!!!”

Kony 2012

Bobby Bailey, Laren Poole, and Jason Russell founded Invisible Children, an organization that sought to increase awareness surrounding warlord Joseph Kony and the atrocities committed by his “Lord’s Resistance Army.

In the film “Kony 2012,” they set out to spread awareness and have him captured within the year. But the goal of the film remained unclear.

Dove’s Racist Ad

The 2017 Facebook ad from Dove was criticized for being racist. It showed a black woman being transformed into a white woman. And because they were selling a lotion, the connotations led to an understandable outrage and the ad being pulled.

Although the white woman is again transformed into a woman of another race, people criticized it for being racist. It’s up to your interpretation if it’s racist or not. But still, you should carefully think about making an ad that can touch sensitive topics.

So, do you have a worth studying digital marketing campaign in mind? Let me know in the comments!

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