10 Ad Campaigns Inspired By Powerful Consumer Insights

Marketing
6 min. read

Lorna Keane / January 18, 2018

A successful marketing campaign moves and inspires, resonating deeply with a brand’s target audience. But having the power to reach out and touch consumers in this way relies on inspiring consumer insight, rooted in complex data.

Giving marketers the tools to create ideas that stick, in-depth data is often where the best campaigns begin. Just one fundamental truth about your consumer can inspire a powerful message that lasts.

So what insights are sparking the most creative ideas in marketing? Here, we take a look at ten iconic ad campaigns with insight at their core.


1. Activia: It Starts Inside


The Campaign

In February 2017, Activia launched its ‘It Starts Inside’ rebranding campaign. The work was designed to spark conversations and encourage women to achieve their full potential, inspiring them to rise above their ‘inner critic’.

The Insight

A study conducted by Activia and research partner GlobalWebIndex revealed that 80% of women in the U.S. aged between 25 and 55 agree that they are their own worst critic.

Why it Worked

The campaign features candid interviews with real women talking about their experiences with self-doubt as well as their strength and determination to achieve their goals. The “Don’t Tell Me I Can’t” video is an ideal example of audience-centric marketing at work, where people are at the core of the brand’s message. A

ppealing to viewers’ emotions in an effort to build radical empathy and shift perceptions of Activia as more than a mere product, but as “a product and platform to help women feel good inside and out”, it proves the power of insights that inspire.


2. Always: Keep Going #LikeAGirl


The Campaign

#LikeAGirl is a campaign that needs no introduction. Originally launched in 2014, the multi award-winning marketing effort successfully positioned Always as an ambassador for female empowerment and social change. In 2017, the campaign’s message was adjusted to encourage girls to embrace failure and learn from it, rather than be discouraged by it.

The Insight

At puberty, 49% of girls feel paralyzed by the fear of failure, leading them to avoid trying new things. This insight sparked an idea that allowed the brand to expand on its original message, empowering girls to tackle this fear and ‘keep going #LikeAGirl’.

Why it Worked

This long-running campaign continues to break barriers and challenge social perceptions, all the while evolving its empowering message. Its success is primarily due to its insight-driven approach that puts perceptions at the forefront – and with 70% of women and 60% of men saying the original campaign changed their perception of the phrase ‘like a girl’ for the better, it’s clearly a tactic that pays.


3. Nike: Find Your Greatness


The Campaign

When the London 2012 Olympics began, Nike released its ‘Find Your Greatness’ campaign encouraging everyone to excel as athletes, regardless of ability.

The Insight

It’s not just the championship athlete or record breaker that strives to push their own limits. With the knowledge that everyday athletes make up a large portion of Nike’s target audience, this campaign set out to encourage them to “achieve their own defining moment of greatness.”

Why it Worked

While the campaign’s inspiring message had mass appeal, it was developed with data-driven personas in mind. The campaign is an ideal example of marketing that resonates by appealing to the emotions of their target consumers, whilst challenging common perceptions of the brand – in this case, that it’s not just for professional athletes.


4. Three: Holiday Spam


The Campaign

Three’s award-winning ‘Holiday Spam’ campaign promoted the mobile company’s offering that allowed customers to use their phones abroad at no extra cost. The campaign featured a series of 60-second TV ads showing travellers sending clichéd holiday photos to friends and family members back home.

The Insight

Inspired by genuine insight into people’s behavior while on holiday, the campaign hinged on the knowledge that we love to brag! Tracking the mobile data usage of a group of customers abroad, they found that they used 71 times the amount of data they would have used had they been charged as normal – most of which was used to post holiday snaps on social media. The creative tapped into this finding, warning UK viewers to expect an onslaught of ‘holiday spam’ photos, thanks to the new offer.

Why it Worked

Another prime example of marketing that works driven by insights, this campaign successfully tapped into their audience’s behaviors and perceptions around the quantity of clichéd holiday snaps being shared on social media daily.

Using this insight to drive awareness of their unique proposition and appeal to the emotions of their target consumers, the campaign led to a 90% increase in Three’s social conversation volume, higher brand metrics, and customers saving a collective £2.7bn on roaming charges.


5. Beats by Dr. Dre: Hear What You Want


The Campaign

The 2014 ‘Hear What You Want’ campaign by Beats by Dr. Dre and R/GA featured U.S. athletes wearing the headphones to help them get ‘into the zone’, drowning out the voices of their critics and rivals to focus on positive and motivational thoughts before competing.

The Insight

Having conducted research into the listening habits of athletes, the team found how music was used to improve focus and build confidence.

Why it Worked

This creative work tapped into music’s power to move, inspire and embolden people, enabling them to find themselves and be the best they can be in any situation. The campaign helped Beats by Dr. Dre to become the number one selling headphone in North America and Europe prior to its acquisition by Apple for £3bn.


6. Pret: Little Veggie Pop-Up


The Campaign

Pret A Manger consistently offers some of the greatest examples of marketing that works for today’s consumers through their innovative campaigns hinged on insight. The Little Veggie Pop-Up campaign was created in response to the widespread surge in popularity of healthy and ‘clean’ eating to give their consumers more of what they want.

The Insight 

The team uncovered that just 39% of Britons now snack on cakes and sweet baked goods between meals – down from 51% the previous year, highlighting how today’s consumers only want to snack sensibly and with balance.

Why it Worked

Coupling this insight (and many others) with the recognition of fast-growing sales in veggie options, the campaign urged a mass shift in perceptions of the retailer as a mere snacking brand, while encouraging meat-eaters to see vegetarian and vegan options in a new light. By listening intently to their consumers, they created an audience-centric campaign that led to the shop becoming a permanent fixture due to popular demand, with more plans on the horizon.


7. Spotify: 2018 Goals


The Campaign

Spotify is no stranger to utilizing consumer data in its ad campaigns. Their end-of-year offering for 2017 took it one step further by serving listeners with their own personal data in a personalized microsite.

The Insight

Results proved using data to connect to consumers was a tactic that paid off, so Spotify did it again – building on their infamous 2016 campaign, analyzing listener habits and pulling out the insights that told the best stories.

Why it Worked

Using audience data to guide its marketing efforts, packaging it into an interactive microsite, personalized for each listener, Spotify once again proved how well it understands its consumers, and why insight is so central to campaign success.


8. Hinge: Let’s Be Real


The Campaign

Using the tagline “Let’s be real”, Hinge is the dating app that’s challenging how we see online dating. In true Spotify-esque fashion, telling real-life stories from its user base, this data-driven, out-of-home campaign presents an honest view of its users, far from the polished, idealized images portrayed by most dating apps.

The Insight

“81 percent of Hinge users have never found a long-term relationship on any swiping app.” This insight, along with many others spread across their web page entitled The Dating Apocalypse, was uncovered using their very own user data. This told the brand that humans make real connections through shared vulnerabilities – something most dating apps fail to recognize.

Why it Worked

Cleverly leveraging storytelling, the teams used what they found out about their consumers’ likes, dislikes and personality types to tell tales they knew would strike a cord. The ‘Let’s Be Real’ campaign expertly uses insight to challenge perceptions around online dating and spread an impactful message.


9. Pinterest: What If


The Campaign

One of the most popular social networks in the world (32% of the online population outside China have an account), Pinterest always looks to inspire its users. Its recent ‘What If’ campaign encourages everyone to try something they may be scared of, looking to opportunities rather than self-doubt.

The Insight

84% of people on Pinterest say it helps them learn new things, and 70% of people search, save or click through on Pins to learn more. This insight into their audience inspired the brand to investigate what may stand in the way of people ‘learning new things’ on the platform.

Looking to break down barriers around the self-doubt many face when trying something new, Pinterest aimed to empower everyone to broaden their experience.

Why it Worked

A great example of a brand utilizing audience insight to build an authentic marketing campaign, ‘What If’ shows consumers that they can do anything they put their mind to. Pairing a data-driven idea with eye-catching imagery and and a relatable message has allowed Pinterest to solidify their brand identity.


10. Nespresso: The Choices We Make


The Campaign

Nespresso’s ‘The Choices We Make’ campaign breaks new ground for the brand, focusing on its sustainability efforts on a global scale. It encourages consumers to make ethical choices, and pledges to make “uncompromising choices, one after another, to bring you exceptional coffee.”

The Insight

Our data shows 7% of internet users now class themselves as ‘eco consumers’, i.e. those who think brands should produce eco-friendly products. Taking note of these changing perceptions among their target audience, Nespresso used this campaign to tackle the issue of coffee brands perceivably creating unnecessary waste.

Why it Worked

Moving away from featuring glamorously famous faces, such as George Clooney, the brand chose to take a more authentic approach to its marketing. By not shying away from negative perceptions or controversial subjects, Nespresso proves  it’s a brand that listens to its audience and makes a stand for the issues that surround it.

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