Marketing has come a long way in recent years and, web-savvy as we all area these days, it’s easy to forget that merely a decade ago the internet was a novelty for many people rather than a staple of everyday life.
While it’s undeniable that the internet has opened new doors for advertisers in terms of targeting, creativity and cost, offline campaigns can still really pack a punch. Here, we take a look at some of the most famous offline marketing campaigns – past and present – and what made them great.
Always a Woman (April 2010)
John Lewis knows how to tug at the heartstrings when it comes to advertising, and 2010’s “Always a Woman” advert not only captured the attention of a nation, it brought them to tears. The ad focuses on all the different stages of a girl’s life, from child to woman… from mother to grandmother; all to the dulcet tones of Billy Joel’s “Always a Woman.” Sob.
Atheist Bus Campaign
There’s probably no God (2009)
Back in 2009, an array of London buses sported the message “There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” Although this was a hugely controversial advert, the Advertising Standards Authority claimed it didn’t break its code on substantiation and truthfulness – despite complaints from various different groups. It made headlines as the ASA chose not to launch an investigation due to the fact that they faced having to prove the existence of God to uphold complaints. A task just a tad too large for an advertising regulatory body.
Gorilla Ad (2007)
Ask anyone about the most surreal adverts of the last decade and it won’t come as a surprise if the Cadbury’s Gorilla gets a mention. Phil Collins’ “Inthe Air Tonight” will now forever be associated with a man clothed in a scarily realistic gorilla costume, playing drums against a Cadbury-purple background. Possibly not what Mr Collins intended when he wrote the song but entertaining nonetheless.
The dawning realisation that all Cadbury’s needed to do was paint something purple and dance an animal in front of it arbitrarily should have been the moment we all realised we ate far too much chocolate. Instead, we rushed out to buy more of the sweet stuff, increasing sales by nine percent. We also went mad for Phil Collins, causing “In the Air Tonight” to soar up the charts to number 14, despite never being re-released. Our lives really were a glass and a half full of joy back in ’07.
Tick Follows Tock (1998)
From gorillas to horses, go back in time a few more years to 1998. Fifteen years ago Guinness made a sensational impact with their Surfer Ad. We held our breath, we waited, we watched as the waves of white horses came crashing down and the “fat drummer hit the beat with all his heart.”
Yes… more beer. Remember that year when we all greeted each other using a loud, obnoxious noise? Yeah, it was somewhere in 2008. Well you can thank Budweiser for that. The “wassup” advert created a verbal epidemic of people who’d forgotten the proper way to greet their peers. But damn was it successful.
Interactive walkway at Lisbon Airport
Moving away from the TV screen and onto the… floor. Offline advertising has become more and more interactive as technology improves and we’re seeing increased efforts in the use of projection. This included the 34 metres of interactive projection along a walkway in Lisbon Airport. As people walked over it, the images changes, offering welcome messages in an array of languages and much more. Not an easy task when you consider the immense length of the walkway involved. It went off without a hitch.
Holidays are coming
Last but not least, you know it’s Christmas when Coca-Cola graces your screens with its famous festive trucks. Santa has been part of the brand’s Christmas advertising since 1931 – and now the ad is as much a tradition of the festive season as the man himself – in some households at least. So snuggle up and get ready for another year drinking too much Coke.
So there you have it, a walk through some of the most famous offline ads in memorable history – from the heart-wrenching and pulse-quickening to the controversial and the just plain bizarre. Yes, there are many other adverts (you might have noticed a distinctive lack of anything Meerkat), so go on, tell us what are your favourite offline ads?
This post was written by Susie Francis a content writer for Affordable Leaflets, Susie loves to write about technology, business and travel. You can find her work all over the blogosphere, but to keep up to date with what’s Susie’s up to visit her twitter (@SusieFrancisW)