From my very first marketing course, I knew this was the path I was destined to take. It’s this  passion for my profession that excites me when I see companies communicating their messages well. Great marketing can be an expensive flashy commercial or a simple tweet as long as it  begins with an understanding of the customer– who they are and what they find relevant.

Once you understand who you are talking to, it is easier to craft messages and select images which get them to notice you, change how they think or motivate them to action.   Some of my favorite examples build on this foundation subtly, humor and surprise to show their target customer what makes them special.   

The Guardian: Show, Don’t Tell

The Guardian newspaper, originally known as the Manchester Guardian, has been around since 1821. Despite their long history, they realize that to survive they must be relevant and interesting to a younger, digitally connected consumer. Their target audience is active on Facebook and Twitter. They consume news by interacting with it. This advertisement from 2012 helped the Guardian launch their multimedia and web presence. It transformed their role from news reporting to that of a news conduit. Watch the video and you will see how they showed what they could do in a fun and engaging way.

Mini Cooper – Marketing You Can Touch…And Share Socially

In a world where bigger is better, Mini Cooper struggled to find a place in a market dominated by larger vehicles. Mini Cooper realized that their size was their competitive advantage, even if their consumers didn’t yet know it. 

Instead of trying to tell their story in traditional ads, they found ways to visually demonstrate why size was an advantage in funny and engaging ways designed to get people to stop and notice the cars. They used three-dimensional displays and billboards that broke through the clutter and demanded that you notice them.

On Christmas morning, we are familiar with the piles of empty boxes stacked outside a home. It’s easy to see what someone got for Christmas. These boxes large enough to hold a Mini Cooper where placed around a city. In one glance the marketing says the car is small and also a great gift. The added benefit? Photos of the boxes on the trash pile ended up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

mini cooper

MacBook Air Creates an Emotional Response with a Surprise

After 20 years in corporate, I knew what an interoffice envelope looked like. I had opened thousands and there was never anything really interesting inside. And then along came this ad. The first time I saw the ad, I was curious about what could be in the envelope. I expected it to be a photograph of a new product. I did not expect it to be the product itself.

It was the simple surprise of seeing a computer emerge from an interoffice envelope that stopped me in my tracks. I watched it again and again and I wanted one. With a fairly inexpensive YouTube video, they told me every thing I needed to know the know. The tagline at the end was completely unnecessary  I already knew just from watching it that the Macbook Air was the world’s thinnest computer.

The bottom line? Great marketing doesn’t need to be expensive, just relevant to your audience.