Welcome back to Trident’s last round-up of the year! This time we will be rounding up the whole year of 2018.

As 2018 comes to a close, we’re taking a look back at the world of marketing to remember some of the best campaigns that were created over the past year. 2018 was a rather eventful year in the world of advertising and marketing, so choosing a shortlist was rather difficult!

So let’s get cracking with our top stories from the last 365 days:

McDonald’s – Follow The Arches

There aren’t many brands that could chop up their logo and be sure consumers would still recognise it. Yet this is exactly what McDonald’s did in one of the cleverest bits of outdoor advertising this year. Its ‘Follow the Arches’ campaign, saw McDonald’s cropping its golden ‘M’ to help create guiding arrows to direct drivers to the nearest fast-food outlet in high-traffic areas of Toronto, Canada.

The campaign originally consisted of four billboards, three static and one digital, with sections of the golden ‘M’ appearing alongside slogans such as “just missed us”, “on your right” or “on your left”.

Messing with a logo often seems to serve brands well, but context and tone are everything. This campaign from McDonald’s was bold yet simple. And it was so well-received, it won the Outdoor Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Lions Festival.

Stabilo – Highlight the Remarkable

Highlighter pen brand Stabilo Boss wouldn’t be the first that springs to mind for innovative ad campaigns but the brand caught the imagination of the industry with its ‘Highlight the Remarkable’ campaign earlier this year.

Women featured include NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, who the ads say was responsible for calculating Apollo 11’s safe route back to earth; physicist Lise Meitner, who discovered nuclear fission but whose male partner was awarded the Noble Prize; and Edith Wilson, the US first lady who took on her husband Woodrow Wilson’s responsibilities when he suffered a stroke during his first term as US President. It also sparked some debate, with people pointing out that Johnson was more famous for Apollo 13 than 11 and questioning Edith Wilson’s exact role.

Nevertheless, the campaign won gold in the outdoor and silver in the print categories at Cannes Lions. That helped it capture the attention of the wider world, with English translations of the campaign spreading widely on social media, resulting in more than 10 million impressions on Twitter in just a few days.

BBC – Blue Planet

The aim of these monthly posts is to keep you abreast of all the weird and wonderful news and insights to come out of the world of marketing. Every month, our team will pick our favourite campaigns, brand insights and marketing trends that you can use to enhance your marketing knowledge or even as inspiration to delight your audience.

Although this isn’t a marketing campaign, strictly speaking, the impact of the documentary spawned many marketing campaigns from major brands from around the world. This was undoubtedly the year consumers hit back against plastic waste, with the anti-plastic movement thrust into the spotlight thanks to David Attenborough’s BBC documentary Blue Planet II.

Consumers’ perceptions of single-use plastics shifted as a result. Some 44% of consumers say they have recently become more concerned about single-use plastics and another 70% plan to change their behaviour in some way in response.

The urgency to help spark change is so strong that brands big and small have been scrambling to help join the fight against the war on waste, and take advantage of the opportunity. Coca-Cola, launched its first new strategy ‘World Against Waste’, promising the equivalent of 100% of its packaging will be collected and recycled by 2030. And Evian gave itself the target of a 100% circular approach to plastic use by 2025. We wrote about LadBible’s Trash Isles campaign earlier in the year as well.

Tesla – Starman

A car? Launched into Space!?

Elon Musk pulled off a double marketing coup with the first successful test launch of his Falcon Heavy rocket, the flagship of his private space-flight company SpaceX, and the subsequent debut of its payload—a Tesla Roadster driven by a dummy nicknamed Starman—as the first car in space.

While the launch was clearly one of the most dramatic moments of livestreaming in recent memory, it’s the live YouTube feed of Musk’s own cherry-red Roadster circling the Earth that will perhaps generate the biggest publicity boost for Musk’s emerging electric-car company. With a famously nonexistent ad budget, Tesla just secured a place in auto marketing history. The stunt drew millions of viewers, thousands of news articles, over half a million conversations and over 600k conversions for the brand. Not bad for a 0 budget advert! (apart from the millions spent on the space rocket of course).

BrewDog on the offensive

Always an outspoken brand, Brewdog’s latest print marketing work directly criticises the taste of flagship drinks from four of the UK’s biggest beer brands. The campaign takes the overall consumer scores of popular lagers from the website RateBeer.com, juxtaposing them with the superior score given to Brewdog’s Punk IPA.

The ads claimed the Indian pale ale boasts a rating of 97/100, while Budweiser, Carling and Fosters score 0/100, 1/100 and 3/100 respectively. The accompanying copy is a direct dig at the competitors’ ad slogans. Executions include ‘Wassup, Bud?’ and ‘Good Call, Fosters?’ The print campaign was seen all around the country, and certainly caught the eye, and made us think “do we actually like the taste of these famous beers or are we just drinking them because they are easily available?”.

We included the campaign for the sheer courage and audacity of an up and coming brand like BrewDog attacking its well-established competitors.

Well, that was it for 2018 guys, there were many noteworthy campaigns that could have been included!

Thanks for reading our 2018 round-up and visiting our website, make sure to keep an eye out for our content in 2019, with plenty of blogs and case studies to come! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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2018’s Best Marketing Campaigns

Written By Adam Burrage
Managing Partner at Trident