The best marketing campaigns of the year

Written by Kate Wobschall


It has been a fantastic year, we’ve seen some brilliant campaigns, and some not so good! Here we take a look at our top marketing campaigns of 2019.

Nike

Ahh, Virgil van Dijk. The ultimate defender. Tall, strong, easy on the eye and incredible in the air. And now with his face adorning some of the most prominent buildings in Liverpool, thanks to Nike’s memorable 2019 campaign.

The sportswear giant and new LFC sponsor couldn’t really have chosen a more fitting poster boy – Champions League winner, PFA Player of the Year and now FIFA Club World Cup winner.

So what better place for an enormous digital billboard showing his face – complete with the imposing stare that has kept the world’s best strikers at bay – featuring the single word ‘boss’ at Lime Street Station.

If ever a player was on top of his game, it’s Big Virg in the 2019-20 season – and for that reason, Nike top my personal league of this year’s best marketing campaigns.

Paddy Power

Staying on a footballing theme, the serious soccer writers really got their knickers in a twist over the Huddersfield Town / Paddy Power stunt that eventually morphed into the Save Our Shirt campaign.

When you’re sponsored by Paddy Power, whose directors include a Head of Mischief, expect the unexpected. And back in August, as the new season prepared to kick off, Town unveiled a new shirt complete with hen party style sash bearing the name of their sponsor. The players even wore it in their friendly against Rochdale.

There was outrage; fans took to Twitter to express their horror while the FA fined Town for having a sponsor’s logo that exceeded the regulation 250cm. Then Paddy Power announced via social media: “So yeah, our Huddersfield shirt WAS a fake. We’re not just sponsoring them this season, we’re UNsponsoring them too, through our Save Our Shirt campaign.”

The offending shirts were eventually auctioned for charity, raising upwards of £30k, while the campaign continues to prevent shirts being blemished by sponsors’ logos.

Marmite vs Vegemite

Another memorable sports-related campaign was the Marmite vs Vegemite media showdown that took place before the Ashes. The bitter English-Aussie rivalry spilled over into the world of yeast extract when bold statements about which is best appeared in the national press and on social media.

The Aussies may have won the Ashes but the Marmy Army came out top but stating ‘it may not taste like Australia but we won’t be tampering with it’. Ouch.

National Geographic

Outside the sporting world, National Geographic’s take on the interminable missing pet posts on Facebook to make a point about declining big cat populations. Lions play an integral role in British culture – there’s one on the door knocker of 10 Downing Street and three on our national side’s football shirt – so London’s Paternoster Square seemed like an appropriate location for the giant street poster.

Bearing the legend ‘Missing cat: Have you seen Archie?’ the poster draws attention to the fact that lions have disappeared from 90% of their historic range, with half the remaining range outside protected areas and therefore vulnerable to poachers.

Avon

Another memorable offering came from Avon, in the shape of its Stand4her campaign, a product of research commissioned by the company that found that 50% of women did not live in a culture that encouraged female entrepreneurs.

The programme aims to create opportunities for women to build their own success in their own way and on their own terms, with the aim of improving the lives of 100 million women across the globe each year.

The original direct-to-consumer beauty brand featured Catrin Pugh, who suffered horrific burns in a coach crash, as its first model with a visible difference.

If you’re still in the festive mood, check out our favourite Christmas adverts of all time here.

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