It was the year of virtual reality, 360 video, and micro-content distribution. We spend so much time creating campaigns and developing stories that it’s refreshing to take a step back and look at the interesting things that happened in marketing over the last year. Before we dive head first into 2017, I gathered a few of our team’s favourite marketing campaigns of 2016. Viral social campaigns, emotional videos, and engaging brands — check out our favourite marketing stories of 2016.
Nike, Come Out of Nowhere
One thing I take away from Nike’s “Just Do It” marketing is that they know how to write a catchy tagline that tells a story. This year they told the story of basketball underdogs turned legendary players with their “Come Out of Nowhere” campaign. This included an inspiring video about comeback kids everywhere and a series of print ads featuring some of the NBA’s most notable players.
Thom, Content Editor
I think any time an ad from another country makes its way into North American awareness is a win. There’s obviously been a huge emotional reaction to this ad and it’s easy to see why. They’ve written a friendly and adorable character and drawn you into his story, stringing you along until the finish line to see who he’s getting ready to meet. As a viewer, you feel invested in his story and nothing feels in-your-face about what they’re selling. You don’t feel like your feelings have been unfairly manipulated because there’s an emotional payoff.
Liz, Project Coordinator
I love the balance of masculine and feminine details and the use of pattern, typography, print technique, and colour to bring out the sophistication. It definitely stands out for a dessert bar and creates a market for it. You can really already experience the dessert bar and what it will feel and look like by just looking at their branding so it really works.
Razia, Graphic Designer
Lana Paper mill
Lana brings a print magazine feel to a website. Because it’s a paper company, the mix of media styles captures what their company is about instantly.
Brianna, Web + Graphic Designer
Having amassed one hundred and thirty eight million views since it was released in January this year, James Corden’s first entry in his Carpool Karaoke series epitomized viral content taking him from unknown comedian to the most popular late night show host on the air.
Jason, Director of Social
Make Change by Teachable
People are always telling me that nobody reads anymore — nice, right? But I’m entirely unconvinced (and not only because it’s my job to be). The way we read content is much different than it was 10 or 20 years ago, but we’re undeniably reading so much more. Instead of newspaper articles or blog feeds, we’re reading Instagram captions and Medium posts. One of the surprising time-tested ways to share that content is through email. With all the technology out there, email seems a little low-tech. But we check our inboxes every single day — usually multiple times. theSkimm is not really marketing because they’re basically a publisher, but Make Change is a branded newsletter sent out by the online school platform Teachable. theSkimm lands in my inbox every weekday and Make Change comes every Friday and I always read these emails. They’ve established a strong brand voice and a reputation for delivering quality, relevant content. And there’s no better way to create strong brand affinity than by regularly delivering your customers (and potential customers) valuable content.
Katy, Content Editor
What are your favourite marketing stories of 2016?