10 Marketing Lessons from Branding WizardsOff the top of your head, can you name three marketing campaigns or ads that captured your attention?

If you can’t you’re not alone.

Millions of campaigns go unnoticed daily and very few can actually be deemed memorable.

I was flipping through an older issue of Entrepreneur magazine and found “10 Lessons in Marketing Brilliance,” in which Jennifer Wang summarizes the best marketing campaigns of 2011.

While not new, there are some really interesting campaigns from which you can steal ideas from and make your own.

10 Marketing Lessons from Branding Wizards

  1. The Contagion Bacteria Billboard. Guerilla marketing at its best. The virus billboard complete with penicillin, mold, and pigmented bacteria that grew to spell out the movie’s title, made this campaign famous and literally stopped people in their tracks.
  2. 7-Eleven’s Slurpee Unity Tour. Riding the coat tails of current events is what made this campaign one of the standouts of 2011. Who would’ve thought when President Obama accused the Republicans of “standing, watching us, sippin’ on a Slurpee,” and then later joke about hosting a Slurpee Summit, would catapult a brilliant marketing campaign? Taking this as a product endorsement, 7-Eleven created the Slurpee Unity Tour. The tour included trucks with a campaign logo, which traveled cross-country giving out samples of the product.
  3. Lululemon Athletica’s Ambassador Program. This program is focused on giving customers the opportunity to promote the brand. Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on celebrity endorsements and advertising campaigns, Lululemon recruits local athletes and fitness instructors to test products and wear the brand in front of their students. They do not pay them, but instead provide them with $1,000 worth of merchandise.
  4. The Museum of Me. Intel got personal with users and tapped into their emotions when they partnered with Japanese digital agency Projector to create a Facebook App that would turn a user’s photos into a polished short film archiving the person’s life in a virtual gallery in a matter of seconds.
  5. About.Me Billboard Contest. In an effort to promote about.me from AOL, they came-up with a simple contest to raise its awareness. Users who got the most votes on their about.me pages would win a trip to New York and a spot on a billboard in Times Square. Using various forms of social media to get votes, users were not only promoting themselves, but the about.me brand – which was ultimately what AOL was hoping for.
  6. The Spotify U.S. Launch. The ultimate lesson in exclusivity came when Spotify launched in the U.S. They took a two-pronged approach by (1) getting early adopters and influencers with high Klout scores to spread the word; and (2) distributing limited beta invites, which ultimately controlled the number of free subscriptions and increased the demand for their service. This campaign literally had people wanting to be invited. Everyone was talking about it and wanted “in” on the “cool” crowd.
  7. The Method Commercial. When Method decided to break into the laundry detergent market with a product that was smaller and more powerful than some of the leading brands, they only had $200,000 to do it. With such a limited budget, Method decided to produce a commercial involving their customers. They asked them to perform specific actions and submit their clips for one final commercial. The effort brought great awareness for the product and the campaign proved that talking to your customer and getting their input can go a long way.
  8. The Perrier YouTube Campaign. When it comes to social media and digital marketing, one of the greatest value comes from “passing it along.” Aimed at targeting a younger, more hipper audience, Perrier developed a series of videos featuring dancers partying in a melting nightclub. As more people watched the videos, the steamier and sexier they got. And boy did they get sexy. By the end of the campaign, more than 11.5 million people had viewed the videos.
  9. The Apple Siri Ads. Apple does it again by solving yet another problem with the iPhone. When promoting Siri, the voice-driven assistant found on the iPhone 4, they produced a series of commercials with Siri taking messages, scheduling appointments, drafting emails, searching the web and most importantly – sending users to the closest Starbucks. In 30 seconds Apple was successful in conveying the many ways this application could make its users lives a little bit easier.
  10. Dream Portraits. Go big or go home! That’s exactly what Disney did with this campaign. They went old school with this one choosing a traditional, well-executed campaign with a story to tell. Disney hired famed photographer Annie Leibovitz to capture several of their characters, which were portrayed by several of Hollywood’s A-list actors.

While none of these have anything to do with auto aftermarket or manufacturing, it's important to look at the creativity involved and see what you can use in your own business.

What do you think you'll shamelessly steal?