Many companies create effective integrated marketing campaigns with a consistent look, feel and tone of voice. The best marketers take it to the next level with a memorable, brand-relevant big idea or creative device that unifies the integrated marketing campaign.
UPS “What Can Brown Do for You?”. The hero to the customer is the brand “icon” of the UPS delivery person wearing a brown uniform. You can’t describe the commercials without saying the brand name UPS. That’s not true of other advertising that you may remember as being very funny but when someone asks you, “Who was the sponsor of the ad?” you don’t know or can’t remember. Advertising where someone can’t remember the brand name (the sponsor who paid for the ad) is a waste of money. The best marketing and advertising, like the UPS Brown integrated marketing campaign, is linked to the brand and can be used throughout all types of marketing. In 2010 UPS replaced the memorable slogan with a new one. Do you remember what the new slogan is? Or is the old slogan so stuck in your head that when you think of UPS do you still remember the old slogan? (Their new slogan is We Love Logistics).
You’re in Good Hands with Allstate – what a great tagline! The brand name and an emotionally relevant benefit are linked. The tagline is brought to life with the consistent use of the image and voice of corporate spokesman Dennis Haysbert, along with the use of the graphic image of hands. The visuals and voice make the campaign more memorable. Many people are visual learners. A graphic + words makes it easier for most people to remember something.
It keeps on going and going and going…Energizer Bunny as the big idea and creative device. What’s effective about this is that the brand name of the batteries is linked to the creative device (the bunny). It’s not “oh, that bunny is so funny.” Instead it’s, the Energizer Bunny.
$5 foot longs from Subway with their product, a huge five foot long sandwich as the hero image. That’s an example of an offer ($5 foot long) + product (sandwich) + brand (Subway). Geico’s done something similar with their offer (15 minutes could save you 15% or more) + their brand name + the gecko.
In contrast, Aflac has done a great job of creating brand awareness by linking their name with a duck but they’ve stopped there. Their creative device (the duck) isn’t extended to an offer or benefit or even a word that would help people understand what Aflac actually does/offers. Aflac is spending money creating brand awareness when Geico and Subway are doing that plus linking their brand name and a creative device (visual) to a memorable, relevant offer.
Staples integrated marketing campaign was unified around the big idea and tagline “That Was Easy” which was brought to life by an easy button that you can purchase for $5.99 from Staples for your office. Now, that’s a big idea!
Apple has done an incredible job of making their products the heroes of their ads. The ads show the products in use and the benefit of choosing an Apple iPhone or iPad. Dyson does this with their branding and ads that show and explain how their vacuums work.
Intel Inside – what a brilliant tagline that Intel uses throughout their marketing and that they require their partners to use in their advertising if they want Intel to contribute to the cost of the advertising for their PCs and mobile devices. Intel describes their campaign to their direct large company chip-buying customers, “The Intel Inside® Program is a cutting–edge ingredient branding program that works hand-in-hand with your own branding efforts.”
M&Ms candy tagline “It’s so good it melts in your mouth.” That line and the M&M’s commercials carried the brand through the decade with happy jingles, close up shots of the bag of Plain M&M’s being poured into someone’s hand, and the happy M&M candy themselves, dancing about. You couldn’t describe that ad without using the brand name. Now Tostitos has a dancing bag of chips in their TV ads. The magic of this is that the product packaging comes to life which makes it more memorable when you’re in the store shopping.
Nike tried to retire their famous “Just Do It” tagline but consumers didn’t let this happen. Consumers love the tagline so much that they pay for Nike t-shirts with Nike logo and Just Do It tagline. A Nike Executive shared this about their brand, “Typically, NIKE is looking to emulate performance innovation from an elite athlete’s perspective as opposed to more of a mainstream approach to average athletes. The belief is that if it serves the needs of elite athletes, we can figure out how to trickle it down to the mainstream athlete.”
Zoom Zoom… from Mazda. They used a musical sound as a creative device to make their advertising and campaign memorable. The Mazda Club website (their brand enthusiasts) has a web page Want the zoom zoom song? with a free download.
Motel 6′s integrated marketing campaign started with radio and the line “We’ll leave the lights on for you.” According to spokesperson Tom Bodett’s website he says, “Tom Bodett is the first and only spokesperson Motel 6 has ever had. Starting in 1986, when the national motel chain numbered barely two hundred locations, Bodett still invites the sleepy traveler to an affordable, clean, comfortable room at any of their over eight hundred new and refurbished properties today. ‘We’ll leave the light on for you’– an ad-libbed line Bodett offered in the very first recording session — has become the trademark promise of one of the most long-lived and successful advertising campaigns in history. The winner of over one hundred and fifty individual advertising awards — including eight Clios and Best National Radio Campaign an unprecedented two years in a row – the Motel 6 campaign with Tom Bodett continues in its effective service to keep Motel 6 the leader in economy lodging nationwide. The Richards Group (richards.com) advertising agency in Dallas, Texas recruited Bodett from National Public Radio’s All Things Considered where he was a regular commentator from 1984 to 1987. Bodett’s warm and friendly commentary style and his focus on the foibles of everyday life drew the attention of The Richards Group’s creative team as they searched for the right personality for the Motel 6 brand. Sincerity, good humor, and common sense were values that Bodett shared with his corporate suitors, and the relationship quickly developed into a solid and positive public face for both Motel 6 and Bodett.”
The insight here: Motel 6 has consistently used this line and this spokesperson for many, many years. Something magical happens when they use the line in other non-audio media (print, their website, outdoor billboards): that is, if you’ve heard the radio commercials you hear Tom Bodett’s voice saying, “We’ll leave the lights on for you” don’t you? That’s the media multiplier effect in action when 1+1 = 3. That’s the power of a big idea.
What’s key: a big idea that can extend through all customer touch points (advertising, packaging, point of sale, website, promotional offers…) that is used consistently over a long period of time in fresh and interesting new ways.
Want more inspiration?
What’s your favorite examples of big ideas that unify an integrated marketing campaign?