It's already been a big couple of months in the world of marketing - an egg has broken the internet, Greggs unveiled their all-new vegan alternative and meme-mania surrounded Netflix's Bird Box. Here are our top marketing campaigns of 2019 so far.
Netflix harnesses the 'Bird Box Effect'
The release schedule, gimmick ridden imagery and SEO-friendly name all played a part in the success of Neflix’s digital marketing ploy. After premiering during the Christmas holidays, with most viewers in a cheese induced sedentary state, social media feeds quickly became overloaded with images of Sandra Bullock blindfolded in a rowing boat. This was only the tip of the iceberg for the stream of memes that then followed, driving record streaming figures and creating an online mania. A success that once again shows Netflix are a force to be reckoned with, continuing to secure their position as a digital driver of culture.
No one could have predicted a blindfolded Sandra Bullock would send the internet into a frenzy. Harnessing the power of the meme, Netflix’s digital strategy resulted in a record breaking first week for newest addition to the ‘Netflix original’ catalogue: Bird Box. Reporting that 45 million accounts viewed the film in the first 10 days of availability, Bird Box is Netflix’s best ever debut release.
Eugene the egg breaks the internet
Just some vapid not-quite-news story about Kylie Jenner and an egg engaged in a pointless war for online validation, right? Nope. Turns out Eugene, the egg that had amassed a colossal 52 million likes and over 10 million followers, was actually part of a mental health campaign and eventually cracked under the pressure of social media attention. Having unveiled Eugene’s true purpose, people were then invited to click through to a page a link of countries and the corresponding mental health services available to people who live there.
Chris Godfrey, the advertising creative behind the images, stated “an egg has no gender, race or religion. An egg is an egg, it’s universal.” A bit overblown? Maybe, but it proves you don’t have to shove your message down your viewers’ throats to have impact (we’re looking at you, Gillette…)
Greggs unveils the all-new vegan sausage roll
Just when we thought it had exhausted all the playful publicity in the book, January saw Gregg’s serve up its biggest banger yet. The high street giant cleverly launched its ultimate contradiction, the vegan sausage roll, to coincide with a record breaking Veganuary, sending 250,000 newborn vegans into overdrive. It wasn’t just the timing of this campaign which made it golden.
The campaign sent journalists and influencers an Apple-inspired teaser for the launch, complete with sausage packed Gregg’s branded iPhone boxes sent to journalists. The campaign soon baked up a social media storm, to which celebrities and fellow fast food chains willingly jumped on. Why did we like this campaign so much? Its social media team’s sharp and witty responses, ‘Oh hello Piers, we’ve been expecting you’, made this one sizzle.
The British Army's #YourArmyNeedsYou Campaign
The British army kicked off 2019 by launching its #YourArmyNeedsYou campaign, a series of TV and radio adverts, in addition to a billboard and digital campaign that took negative millennial stereotypes and highlighted how they can actually make a valuable army skill set. The Ministry of Defence says that 72% of young people feel they are ambitious but undervalued and this campaign aims to tackle that issue head on and reconnect with the 16-25 year old market with this bold and polarising campaign.
The campaign also specifically targets gamers, with the gaming market now worth £3.864 billion according to Entertainment Retailers Association. A TV advert depicts a young person trying to complete a level on a video game, with his father bemoaning how much time he spends gaming. This is spun to show dedication, technological savvy and stamina that would be valuable for a career in the services. The striking posters take phrases such as ‘snowflakes’ and contrasts them with ‘compassion’ in a Kitchener-style design that is sure to send Piers Morgan’s head spinning.
A lesson in storytelling: Bandersnatch
It wouldn’t be a new year without Black Mirror’s eerily accurate take on society returning to our screens. In January audiences were once again taken on a journey through Charlie Brooker’s dystopian musings in Bandersnatch. The feature length episode is Netflix’s most successful experiment with ‘choose your own adventure’ to date, with protagonist Stefan’s reality very much ‘up for grabs’ as audiences control the fate of the increasingly unhinged programmer.
Aside from leaving you staring at your screen in despair, Netflix yet again gave us a lesson in how to break the marketing mould. Across the UK pop-up ‘Tucker’s Newsagent & Games’ shops mysteriously began to appear fully stocked with 80s merchandise and Tuckersoft game posters from the film plastering the windows. Despite the ‘Be Back Soon’ sign the stores became a living, breathing billboard for Bandersnatch that quickly intensified the hype around the release.