Top 5 Marketing Campaigns to Inspire You in 2021

It can be difficult to stand out in the crowd! That’s why we’ve curated the top 5 marketing campaigns to inspire you in 2021. Evaluating other successful marketing campaigns and doing your own marketing research can help you produce a great campaign that racks up sales! It takes a lot more than just running a Facebook Ad Campaign to be successful, you need to find ways to stand out, stay relevant, and be refreshingly unique.

That’s where we can help you! We have gathered our favorite examples of online marketing campaigns from wildly successful companies to inspire your own marketing strategy. Take a look below. 

What Is A Marketing Campaign?

A marketing campaign is a course of action to promote or sell something. For example, this could be a product, service or brand.  In a marketing campaign, an individual or team will organize the promotion of goods through radio, TV ads, printed ads, billboards, trade shows, conferences and other types of media.

Zoom – Virtual Background Contest

Why? Zoom utilized the power of a contest to drive engagement across all social media platforms. 

Everything is virtual in 2021. Especially with COVID-19, our world grew a little smaller and people increased the time spent on technology. This cut into advertising plans and limited what could be filmed and produced for companies around the world. 

However, Zoom did not let this stop them from curating a massively successful social media marketing campaign. They changed gears effortlessly and took the virtual shift head-on. 

Video conferencing took off due to social distancing measures and Zoom figured out how to leverage this onto a marketing campaign. To increase brand awareness and drive new users, they ran a Virtual Background Giveaway contest. Each month, they encouraged their community to submit a picture or video using Zoom’s virtual background feature. They would award three winners each month with a variety of prizes!

Using user-generated content is an effective marketing tactic to use. Did you know that ads based on user-generated content receive 4 times higher click-through rates and a 50% drop in cost-per-click compared to average ads? Those are impressive numbers!

This strategy worked because they used user-generated content to get others excited!

What you can do: Don’t skip out on user-generated content. When users share and create content on their social media channels, they will bring in 28% higher engagement compared to standard company posts. Consider how you can effectively use user-generated content to push your marketing strategy forward. Your audience will be more likely to stay engaged!

Top 5 Marketing Campaigns to Inspire You in 2021


Dove – #PassTheCrown

Why? Dove activated and empowered their community by combining social justice with social media.

Dove has always been on the frontlines of generating marketing campaigns that are culturally sensitive and trendy across their social media channels. Their latest campaign, #PassTheCrown, encouraged their community to embrace their natural hair without judgement. Dove teamed up with the Western Centre, National Urban League and the Color of Change to help end race-based hair discrimination in the U.S. 


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A post shared by Dove Global Channel 🌎 (@dove)

Their campaign involved real women, unfiltered, who didn’t feel represented in media and advertising.

The reason this campaign worked so well is because they combined several resources. There was a huge spike in activism and social justice awareness. Partnering with influencers, Dove rallied their community around a cause they cared about and took advantage of the heightened media coverage of all things related to activism and social change. 

What you can do: Don’t be afraid to lower the curtain and to be real. What do your customers care about in the real world? Listen to their concerns. Then, craft a campaign that fully supports their needs. For Dove, women wanted to be seen 100% unfiltered. What can your company do to show your customers there are real people behind your organization? How can you use this in a marketing campaign that while advertising for your company, does real good?

Apple – #ShotOniPhone

Why? Apple showcased their product while engaging their community simultaneously!

Another great example of an innovative social media marketing campaign that was wildly successful in 2020, was Apple’s #ShotOniPhone campaign. Apple realized that 75% of people feel user-generated (USG) content makes a brand more authentic and 90% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding brands they support. This campaign encouraged users to take their own photos and showcase their iPhone photography. 


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A post shared by apple (@apple)

UGC is a cost-effective and extremely persuasive source of content that companies and brands can utilize to build trust with consumers, strengthen their relationship with clients, and overall, increase revenue. USG has been proven to increase awareness and this campaign cleverly leveraged this tactic.

The hashtag, #ShotOniPhone, has been used more than 16 million times on Instagram! That is a staggering number! And even better, Apple didn’t really even have to pay for advertising – their users did it for them. 

What you can do: Like we have stated before, do not underestimate the power of UGC! People like seeing real people behind the ads. When crafting your next campaign, think about how you can involve your current audience into the campaign.

Websites that feature user content saw an 20% increase in return visitors and recorded a 90% increase in time spent on their sites! Consider including more UGC on your website and socials, even if this is just testimonials. When it comes time to run a marketing campaign, feature this content creatively and you’ll see the return on investment.

Starbucks – #WhatsYourName

Why? By sharing a message of respect and inclusivity, their social media campaign resonated with their customers and the world.

Two years ago, Starbucks partnered with Mermaids, an organization that supports transgender and gender-diverse youth, to creature the #WhatsYourName campaign. This campaign combined traditional TV advertising with social media engagement to create a value-driven campaign. By emphasizing the importance of honoring people’s chosen names, they created an unforgettable campaign that was clear and simple. It led with values and made an emotional impact. You can watch the video here.

Top 5 Marketing Campaigns to Inspire in 2021

While many brands stay far, far away from politicized topics, Starbucks didn’t. They realized that ultimately their customers wanted to create a better, more inclusive place for everyone. Yes, the campaign did attract critics, but also won over many, many more fans in the process.

What you can do: Don’t be afraid to take a stand! Your customers will rally with you, and they are more likely to stay loyal to your cause. After all, research shows that over 90% of purchasing decisions are subconscious. And, one of the biggest subconscious drivers is emotion. If you can help customers attach emotionally to a cause (and your company) they are more likely to buy from you and, even further, stay loyal. 

Top 5 Marketing Campaigns to Inspire You in 2021

Bud Light – Raining Lemons

Why? Bud Light took the old saying, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” and turned it into a timely advertising campaign.

Bud Light is a major brand and you can tell they have spent time refining their brand’s voice. After an intense year for all, due to COVID-19, Bud Light decided to put their own spin on it, adding some humor to advertise the launch of their Seltzer Lemonade. Watch the hilarious video here.

This campaign was a success because they utilized their customer’s shared experience…and then put a positive spin on it. Yes, this year has been hard (many were given lemons), so why not make lemonade? 

What you can do: What is going on in the world today? Read the news, see what’s popular and what people are talking and caring about. Attach your marketing campaign and strategy to what is trending. Reimagine something that everyone can connect to and build around that. We’ve all heard the saying about making lemonade. Bud Light didn’t do anything innovative, they just ran with it creatively! You can do it too.

How To Create A Marketing Campaign

If you are trying to create a marketing campaign, the first thing to do is to determine what you are promoting. Once you have determined the product or service, then you can move forward in crafting a compelling campaign. Take time to do the appropriate market research to determine the best course of action. What is your target audience? What they care about? What are their interests?

There endless ways to create a marketing campaign! It’s up to you to do your research and craft a compelling story.

Is Your Marketing Strategy Truly Innovative?

Digital marketing and social media marketing have become increasingly competitive in 2021. There are now thousands of brands on social media. It is important than ever to create a unique digital marketing strategy!

Use our free Ultimate Guide to Marketing Cheat Sheet to test the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. This guide will help you determine if your content marketing, social media marketing, and inbound marketing strategies are doing their job! Download your Ultimate Cheat Sheet here.

While some companies are running massive campaigns pumped full of funding, all you really need is an innovative and relatable idea. If your business truly understands your unique niche, there is a way for your small business to stand out. 

Hopefully, these campaigns inspire your own marketing efforts. But, if you still need help crafting the perfect campaign, reach out to use today for your free consultation. As marketing experts, we can assist with email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing strategy, SEO efforts and so much more.

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