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Most Memorable Marketing Campaigns of 2019

February 5, 2020 | Blog

At Absolute, we live and breathe all things content based – PR, social media, copywriting… and we’re driven by delivering results. We’re a creative bunch and thrive on cooking up content ideas to effectively communicate our client’s messages to new and existing audiences, and we love seeing campaigns of all shapes and sizes, across various channels and brands, that do the same. Here, we look back on the most memorable marketing campaigns which exploded onto our screens in 2019.

1. Gillette: ‘The Best a Man Can Be’

Razors. Shavers. Whatever you like to call them, they do battle with unkempt hair. But how many times can a brand market a single use product with the same message?

It seems too many, as retailer Gillette turned their back on traditional ‘smooth cheeks’ campaigns and launched a brand-new corporate social responsibility ad, which reinvented the company’s original 30-year-old slogan, ‘The Best a Man Can Get’, and challenged all men to think about potentially harmful behaviour, by being ‘The Best a Man Can Be’.

Within 48 hours, the campaign generated more than 2 million views on YouTube, and #GilletteAd was trending on Twitter worldwide. Some praised the message of the advert, but others were less than impressed with the stance Gillette took, accusing them of alienating their core audience. Either way, it certainly got people talking.

2. Nike ‘Don’t change your dream – change the world’

In the run up to the Woman’s Football World Cup 2019, Nike decided to set the scene with a powerful ad headlined ‘Don’t change your dream – change the world’, where a team of famous female footballers and 10-year-old Makena Cook took to the pitch, defying the ‘stereotypical’ male footballer society is used to seeing.

The campaign was a success, with the ‘Dream Further’ promotional video racking up nearly 3 million views on YouTube and Nikes online sales increasing by 31%.

3. Greggs Vegan Sausage Rolls

Who could forget Veganuary, which saw the UK’s largest bakery chain Greggs take over #Veganuary in 2019, with the launch of its first vegan sausage roll. At a time when consumers are becoming more environmentally aware and reducing their meat consumption, it was the opportune moment for Greggs to grab both with oven mitts. And just as well.

It turned out to be a very hot topic indeed, as the simple vegan sausage roll became Greggs fastest-selling new product in five years. The brand’s total sales grew by 14.1% and like-for-like sales increased by 9.6%. Twitter reach for the campaign hit 24 million and the launch film alone was watched 8 million times.

4. Cadbury – Donate your words

Cadbury also opted for a strong corporate social responsibility campaign, which saw the confectionery brand team up with Age UK. The later life charity found that nearly 1.4 million older people struggle with loneliness and 225,000 often go a whole week without speaking to anyone.

To raise awareness, Cadbury ‘donated words’ by turning the packaging of their famous purple chocolate bars completely blank, and donated 30p from the sale of each bar to Age UK.

The campaign was a hit, with the promotional video reaching nearly 4.5 million views on YouTube. YouGov BrandIndex found that consumers not only noticed and discussed the advert, but their likelihood of purchasing Cadbury products increased.

5. Doritos – Anti-ad

Doritos chose a bold campaign, which saw the American brand of flavoured tortilla chips drop the logos from the well-known crisp packet, keeping only the distinctive red and blue colour palette.

This brave strategy was in a bid to cater more directly to the Gen-Z audience who dislike overt advertising. The campaign was a hit, with More About Advertising (MAA) giving the campaign an overall score of 9 on the creative scale and calling it a ‘triumph of branding’.

6. Carlsberg: Probably not the best beer in the world

What happened to having a good old-fashioned pint down the pub? According to The Drinks Business, sales of beer and lager in the UK’s pubs and restaurants was down by a third in 2019. With so many beverages available, and with the rise of consumers looking for the perfect #FridayFeeling Insta-shot, you wouldn’t buy something which wasn’t the best… or would you?

Well, that’s exactly what Carlsberg did when they undertook a full rebrand after sales dropped, reworking their famous strapline of over 30 years and telling potential buyers that their tipple was now ‘probably not the best beer in the world’.

In a move which could have gone bottoms up, it turned out the crafty tactic paid off as conversation across social media platforms rose and awareness of Carlsberg’s advertising campaign among British consumers doubled on YouGov BrandIndex, during the campaign’s first four months.

We hope you enjoyed our 6 favourite marketing campaigns of 2019. Would you like to make an impact in 2020? Call our team on 01392 680740 or email to find out how we can help.