In this blog, I am going to take you through what I considered to be the best and worst digital marketing campaigns of 2019. In this past year, we saw a wide variety of brands experiment with their social media and digital messaging. Sometimes it worked—while other times it backfired.
So let’s get started…
In an effort to penetrate a sport that was typically associated with their rival, Adidas, Nike created a digital marketing campaign with a select few female soccer players—both known and unknown—in order to align the Nike brand with this beloved sport. Nike capitalized on select players’ talent to promote them on social media, celebrating female athletes in the days and weeks leading up to the Women’s World Cup. The Nike brand literally changed the game with this particular digital marketing campaign.
What Nike did incredibly well was to promote these athletes across their social channels long before the kick-off of the World Cup. Leading names from the game were showcased in the build-up, including players who might have been obvious icons to many fans, but to others, it was the first time they’d been introduced to them. This ensured that Nike elevated these players’ profiles before the tournament kicked off.
Nike’s backing on @nikefootball Instagram was immense. Since May 12 (a month before the tournament kicked off) 35 of the 40 posts going out to the 40 million followers were focused on women’s football. Nike ensured the Women’s World Cup was on your screen every time you opened an app. Subtle but strong posts gently but firmly showcased images of the new kits and new players, instilling hype.
Overall Nike’s “#DreamFurther” became the most viewed Nike Football campaign ever, topping iconic male-driven Nike Football campaigns like “The Last Game,” “Winner Stays,” and “Write the Future” among others. Nike’s Women’s World Cup digital marketing campaign generated nearly half a billion views across all digital and broadcast platforms, with digital garnering significantly more views than broadcast.
Mejuri sparkled all throughout 2019 and disrupted the jewelry industry by championing the motto “for my damn self”. This campaign’s tagline encouraged women to buy jewelry for themselves, rather than waiting for it to be gifted. The Mejuri revolution is founded on community and promoting self-care with beautiful, affordable, fine jewelry. The majority of content on Mejuri’s social media accounts is user-generated content. Follower count and reach are not what matters to the brand. They mostly care about engagement and creating that sense of community.
Mejuri cares about connecting with key community members who are already advocates for the brand, regardless of if you have 20K+ followers or 500 followers. This mindset and digital marketing campaign strategy makes the brand inclusive rather than alienating customers through elitist marketing tactics. In addition to featuring user-generated content, Mejuri aims to further create an intimate brand experience through experiential marketing tactics such as piercing parties that promote self-love.
The Summer Fridays’ Jet Lag mask is a treatment to reach for when you’re feeling tired, stressed out or you’ve just stepped off a plane. Packed with brightening chestnut extract, powerful vitamin C, soothing green tea, and pore-minimizing niacinamide, Summer Fridays’ Jet Lag Mask manages to hydrate and plump skin to create a dewy complexion.
A face mask from Summer Fridays started popping up all over Instagram shopping last year, it was most definitely the chic tube that caught everyone’s eye. And to know celebs like Jessica Alba and Kim KW swore by it, along with a host of A-list makeup artists was just the icing on the cake. Heck, even a jet-lagged Jeff Goldblum has given this skincare product a whirl making it a statement skincare product to own!
While the above campaigns took the digital world by storm, there were others that didn’t quite perform as expected.
The ad was meant to position the indoor bike Peloton as the perfect gift that goes beyond the holiday season for your loved ones. It would give them the opportunity to discover their strength, whenever they want it, all year long.
Users criticized the ad’s purported sexism and cultural tone-deafness, accusing the brand of peddling negative body image, unchecked privilege, and gross marital dynamics. With 2019 being the year of breaking stereotypes, users aren’t sure what message a husband is trying to convey by gifting his wife an indoor bike as a Christmas present. It perhaps indicates the husband was nudging her towards weight loss which didn’t go down well with the critics and target audiences. The backlash synched up with a significant tumble in the company’s stock. Peloton stock dipped 9% after several days of gains, a slide that coincided with the company’s decision to lower the price of its workout app.
The bright side? Ryan Reynolds was quick to respond and make the most of the situation. He bailed the commercial’s lead, Monica Ruiz, out of the negative controversy by offering to feature her in his Aviation commercial ditching the bike for a glass of gin instead! Talk about smart marketing!
Riding on the hype around the #MeToo movement, Gillette hoped to drive corporate social responsibility with their “The Best Men Can Be” digital marketing campaign. It features news clips of reporting on the #MeToo movement, as well as images showing sexism in films, boardrooms, and violence between boys.
The commercial immediately went viral with more than 3 million views on YouTube with 265,000 dislikes in 48 hours —six times more than the number of people who liked the video, in turn generating angry criticism. Among the objections were that the video implied most men were sexual harassers or violent thugs, that it was “virtue-signalling” by a company that doesn’t care about the issue, and that the advertisement was emasculating.
Kim Kardashian revealed her latest product launch on June 25, 2019, called Kimono; a collection of skin tone-coloured shapewear. An excited Kardashian shared the news on her Instagram, posting a series of photos from the brand with a caption stating the brand has been 15 years in the works. After multiple social media callouts and an open letter written by Kyoto mayor, Daisaku Kadokawa, Kardashian announced she will relaunch the shapewear brand under a new name.
Immediately after it was announced, Kimono was met with swift backlash, with many social media users criticizing Kardashian for cultural appropriation over the brand’s name. They critiqued her for monopolizing a traditional garment while hurting the sentiments of people. The Kimono is a traditional Japanese dress fostered with predecessors and ancient studies in the history of Kyoto, Japan. People became even angrier when they learned Kardashian applied for trademarks for her Kimono lines, including variations on the name “kimono.” Kim finally relaunched the brand as Skims.
Every business wants to make a significant impact or go viral with a digital marketing campaign, but you should also make sure that you are getting close attention for the right reason, not just because of marketing fails like these.
Start with a solid digital marketing strategy.style=”width:auto!important;max-width:100%;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;” Social media is the most critical marketing platform in the world today. The success or failure of your digital marketing campaign may ultimately hinge on how effectively you can utilize social media. Not only is social media an essential marketing platform in its own right, but it also serves as a support for many other aspects of digital marketing.
A robust digital marketing strategy is the foundation of a successful business. Requiring specialists across each of the digital marketing specialties working together to provide the best outcome for an advertiser. While digital marketing campaigns are a lot more cost-effective than traditional marketing methods, it is also an extremely powerful tool. The only caveat is that it requires advertisers to trust the experts in the business when devising a campaign.
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