Designing a successful campaign requires a lot of creativity. Think of the most memorable ads and campaigns you can remember. What do they all have in common?

Take a moment to consider it and we’ll look at a couple of the most talked about campaigns around the world.

Dove Real Beauty

The Dove Real Beauty campaign began in 2004, but the company has implemented several smaller scale projects such as events and viral videos, one of which, their Real Beauty Sketches got the entire world talking.

It’s based on a simple idea about perspective. A forensic artist was hired to sketch individuals, first according to their own descriptions, and then by a stranger. Dove reached out to every-day people and challenged them to think about the way they perceive themselves, creating a video that their audience could empathise with that ended with a positive message about learning to appreciate yourself.

The campaign was an achievement because it featured relatable stories and people with real anxieties that many others share. But it also generated discussion and invited people across social media to reassess what it means to be beautiful in today’s society – a topic that is widely spoken about.

Coca Cola Skyfall Promotion

Coca-Cola offered tickets to see the James Bond thriller Skyfall, but with a catch. The challenge was to complete a 007 like mission in 70 seconds.For a day, they turned a train station into an obstacle course, and the result was an entertaining, viral video that got many talking and sharing about the campaign. It drew upon the popularity of the film franchise trope and appealed to every-day consumers. After all, who wouldn’t want to be a spy for a minute?

So what can we take away from these campaigns?

Empathy and emotion are powerful

Campaigns that create rapport between people, emphasise relationships, or highlight every-day concerns and ideas are the ones that draw people in. By focusing on scenarios that are relevant to your audience, you establish an emotional bond with them that demonstrates that you are more than just a brand – you understand things too and you become relevant to their lives.

That being said…

Turn conversation into common ground

Design your campaigns around what people are talking about. Keep track of trends in conversation on social media and other outlets, and see if you can make your brand relevant to it. Winter’s coming? Create a seasonal campaign. Is there a sporting event, or festival coming to your local area? Why not create a campaign to celebrate?

This can also create opportunities for you to work with other organisations or brands in different industries to reach a wider audience.

Encourage people to participate

Make your campaign fun and interactive. People like to participate in things, so allow them to actively engage in your campaign. By doing so, you also create advocates for your brand.

While they seem huge scale, you don’t always have to be elaborate to be a success. Again, one of Coca-Cola’s low key campaigns was as simple as releasing names and years on their labels, encouraging people to take photos and look for bottles with dates and names that mean something to them.

Creating photo opportunities by placing props at your location, making an icon, or promoting snapshot and hashtag campaigns can help boost your publicity. There are several ways to do this which you can view here.

Incentive is enticing

Many campaigns these days operate simultaneously as competitions, but there don’t always have to be winners and losers. Having deals, offers, or some other sense of reward or satisfaction at the end of your campaign encourages people to participate in it.

Innovative, Interesting Ideas

Don’t be afraid to brainstorm ideas, or pursue a train of thought that seems completely out of left field. If you think about the Old Spice ads and the Never Say No To Panda campaigns, they are the furthest thing from ordinary, but they are memorable. They created icons that have evolved into well known personalities over the years.