Top 3 Lessons Learned From The Top 12 Marketing Campaigns Ever

The top 12 marketing campaigns of all time teach us lessons about how to reach our audience and send clear messages about our products. Whether our messages seek to explain what their lives need or could ideally be, the marketing strategies we use have to be fresh and unique. So what is the best advice we can get from these advertising wins? These three lessons-learned can help us to reach our audiences in successful ways.

Our first major lesson comes from idealized fantasy of how life looks in our dreams. In this article, credit is given to the Marlboro Man. Remember him? A strong cowboy rides through life on his manly horse showing men their potential reality if they buy a pack of Marlboros. Isn’t that the life? Freedom from stress and all of life’s duties all wrapped up in a pack of cigarettes! We might find another example of this marketing phenomenon in the Dos Equis beer advertisements.


One of the most successful and popular ad campaigns of the 21st Century, Dos Equis has created the image of the “most interesting man in the world,” in an unexpected, yet ideal way. The older character shows the image of what many men should aspire to become with age. He isn’t young and unrealistically successful. He is simply the “most interesting,” leading him to be surrounded at any given time by a couple of beautiful women.

Although Marlboro and Dos Equis advertisements have shown to create successful idealized scenarios that speak to their audience, in some cases, however, this style of marketing can backfire. An example of this can be said of Axe body spray advertisements. The “Axe Effect” may look nice at first, where a teenage boy suddenly finds flocks of women surrounding him after his all-but-over-application of Axe. But one step too far by Axe and they find themselves too close to offensive gender stereotypes. With this, we learn that our idealized fantasy approach to marketing can lead to monumental success, but don’t take it too far!

Our next major lesson learned when creating marketing campaigns is to take a good look at your successful campaigns and know when to move forward to the next great idea. I like to look at DirecTV’s ads from a few years back. Satellite vs. Cable… how will we ever decide? Well DirecTV was here to let us know exactly where our lives would end up with cable: “you wake up in a roadside ditch.” These hilarious commercials began in early 2012, but have since changed. The “Get Rid of Cable” campaign has ended, however the current campaign sends the same basic message.

More recent commercials and ads feature our favorite celebrities, like Peyton Manning, and a less-than-awesome version of that same star. Obviously Peyton Manning has DirecTV and his less cool self has cable. The moral of the story is that, to be like our favorite Broncos quarterback, we’re going to need to sign up with DirecTV. The “Get Rid of Cable” campaign led to millions of online views and plenty of parodies. DirecTV’s marketing campaign success didn’t stop there either. The satellite provider went on to create multiple campaigns that also featured celebrities. By not overselling their “Get Rid of Cable” campaign, they maintained their status of creating hilarious and memorable ads and introduced the world to another taste of their creativity.

Our last major lesson learned is to make sure we are able to show our consumers that our product or service is a solution to their problem. That way we can target our audience using emotional triggers.Consider the Always “Like a Girl” campaign. The “Like a Girl” campaign reaches out to all women and tells them that to be “like a girl” is to be strong and beautiful. Talk about reaching an emotional level! What better way is there for companies to reach their audience than by telling them that their biggest source of self-consciousness is what really makes them beautiful? The moral of this lesson is that marketing campaign should get to the core of the consumer. This emotional-centric strategy finds success.

Of course, there are dozens of other ways to create a top-notch marketing and advertising campaign. These are just a few of the ways that have been tried and true in the world of successful marketing.

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