#29 – The Most Brilliant Marketing Communications Campaigns of All-Time

…Or at least the most brilliant campaigns in the 21st century by my standards.


1. Volvo “The Greatest Interception”

This is by far my favorite campaign of all-time. Simple, brilliant, yet extremely cheap—Volvo hijacked America’s greatest sports events’ ad slots into social conversations without spending any advertising budgets.

In the campaign, the company asked Superbowl’s avid viewers to send a tweet to Volvo mentioning a person they want to give a Volvo to. And as follows, tweets on Volvo’s account spiked throughout the show, accompanying BMW’s and othe cars’ bought advertising spots.

The campaign reminded me that brilliance doesn’t always come with a huge amount of budget. Creativity and smart-ass attitude can be a huge factor in determining the winner, despite the circjmstances. A Swedish car can challenge America’s labels in its own country.

Needless to say, the campaign won a Cannes Lions award (either on integrated or digital) and broke through records as recorded by the award-winning agency Grey here


2. Burger King “McWhopper”

There has always been a neverending feud between Burger King and its long-standing rival on burger-serving fast-food restaurant chains, McDonald’s. While Burger King has been known to be a little bit of a rebel and bully on most times, the integrated campaign performed in 2015 really took it to the next level.

Burger King publicly announced its proposal of ending the burger feud with McDonald’s to celebrate Peace Day by proposing a combination twist of their two signature burgers. However, as expected, the proposal was turned down. The responses were massive—with people making their own version of McWhopper on the internet. And because they were purposely rejected, Burger King then decided to collaborate with other burger-serving fast-food chain restaurants to serve a multicompany burger made from the twists of their various ingredients, making McDonald’s the only one left out.

Overall, the budget for this campaign seems to be over-the-top. However, it managed to bring its long contender down a notch with playful yet witty tone. Burger King seemed to led a gang of burgers that were ganging up on McDonald’s. And be honest, who would dare to challenge the big bully in town?

The campaign was awarded Cannes Lions’ Grand Prix and D&AD prestigious pencils awards (Yellow and Wood pencil) in 2015.


3. Apple’s “Get A Mac”

Ads couldn’t have been more direct and fun in tone as Apple’s signature “Get A Mac” campaign. The ad ran through 2006 to 2009, making it one of the most long-standing ad used by the company. 

The ad follows a series of conversations between two guys—a middle-aged formal attire-wearing conventional sturdy guy named PC and a youth-looking easygoing casual guy named Mac. The two debated on the capacities need to be met by computers, highlighting the shortcoming of Windows. 

For me the personification of the two units is simply brilliant. It brought out Apple’s positioning, personality, and target as the laid-back but all-capable geek and brought down Windows by negative associations. Mac is youthful and smart, whereas PC is old and heavy.

The campaign had been dubbed as the best advertising campaign of the first decade of the 21st century by Adweek.

Apple’s ad series has also been one of the legendary campaigns that serves as a reference in many tech discussions.


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