What makes a brand? It’s a big question. And really, it’s one with a lot of answers. But here’s ours: an impression.
One way to make a killer one? Branded content done well. In the planning process of any brand re-design, content can often take a backseat, but this series is here to let it drive.
When messaging matters and words can really hurt you, it’s important to take notice of those who know what they’re doing, and each month, we’ll highlight some of the best. We’re looking for brands with strategy and execution that made…you guessed it, an impression. Among well-cut TV spots, flashy ads, beautifully designed print ads, and anything else, strategy blends together. But when broken down, you can seriously see how content strategy plays a leading role in some of the best all-around messaging.
With that, let’s all nerd out for a minute.
1. P&G Always #LikeAGirl
We’ve all heard the phrase “like a girl” and have probably used it negatively. Often thrown to insult or diminish a person’s capabilities, Always, a P&G brand, is taking the words back and redefining them for a new generation—to empower change, like only a girl knows how.
Armed with a hashtag, Always also took their campaign to Twitter asking users to submit the things they do #likeagirl, giving them access to shared stories.
2. Burger King Proud Whopper
Just in time for pride season, Burger King wowed fans (and maybe gained a few more) with its Proud Whopper. In the documentary style ad, Burger King employees ask customers if they want the “Proud Whopper” rather than the classic. Many follow up with a question about the difference, only to find that underneath the rainbow-patterned wrapper is the same burger, with a very different message: “We are all the same inside”. Six words that say much more than the rest of the dialogue in the entire ad. Mic drop.
3. Samsung S5 Wall Huggers
A feeling all iPhone users know too well—frantically searching for an outlet while your phone quickly dies. What makes this ad great is the combination of painful truth and creative execution. When you’re competing against one of the most successful companies ever, you have to hit ‘em where it hurts—right in the electricity socket. What we’re loving here is the name itself: “Wall Huggers”. It acts as a defining term, a way of separating certain users into “other”, which then makes the rest of the messaging more impactful. Here, Samsung created a whole new group of people with just two words.
4. Escalade- Evolution of Luxury
The perfect song, a clear message, and a cheeky ego all seamlessly combine for an ad that defines a brand (and more importantly, its market) in a matter of 40 seconds. From Egyptian Pharaohs to the modern well-off, Cadillac shows how luxury evolves, yet never goes out of style. They’ve used the word “evolution” literally in a market that often uses it figuratively.
5. Newcastle Brown Ale
Though it’s about a minute too long, this brash Newcastle commercial reminiscences about “what could have been” if only America had never gained its independence from the English. Considering the beer is brewed in the United Kingdom, the timing of this commercial is flawless, as is the on-point comedic timing of Stephen Merchant. The entire commercial depends on a script. It’s one man talking. But not only that, he’s relating current events back to the brand in a creative, message-forward way. After watching this, I’ll bet you find it hard to forget where Newcastle originates.