Ads, ads, ads…these days people are bombarded with content, especially promotional messages. Just mentioning the word advertisement can already start bothering and annoying a person. But it doesn’t mean this type of marketing doesn’t work anymore. On the contrary, according to our State of Content report, 86% of CMOs plan to maintain or increase strategic investment in content.

In 2023 marketers must adapt and be more innovative to create exceptional content experiences that stand out and appeal to their target audience. While some of us are still adapting, other marketers are already excelling and creating truly outstanding promotional campaigns, which can be used as top examples in Marketing 101.

Without further ado, let’s take a peek at the five next-level ad campaigns from 2022 that will give you insights into creating successful marketing material to meet buyers with the right content, at the right time, on the right channels.

Nike thinks outside of the box with Air Max trainers

Next time you hear somebody say billboards are outdated and cannot compete with mobile mediums, show them this astonishing performance by Nike in Japan.

This 3D billboard campaign was designed to celebrate the 35th anniversary of launching Nike Air Max shoes, and the footwear company managed to create something so attention-grabbing that pedestrians simply couldn’t ignore it and had to stop to take a look.

Of course, some will say it’s just CGI doing the tricks. However, what every marketer should note down is this.

To cut through the noise and capture the viewer’s attention, Nike had to come up with something unique, unexpected, and literally outside the box. It’s also important to mention how colorful and dynamic the billboard is. At the end of the day, when it comes to perceiving ads, the majority of people want to be entertained.

So by creating a fun and memorable experience, Nike’s entertaining ad increases the chances of the viewer retaining the information presented and recalling it later when making purchasing decisions.

Two digital directors out of three find content vital in showcasing competitive differentiation. Read more about this and other marketing strategies of 2023 in our State of Content report!

Favorite love triangle? Salsa and queso fighting over Doritos

Doritos Doritos Doritos Doritos 5 next-level ad campaigns and what can marketers learn from them [Image: courtesy of Doritos]

For better brand recognition, most organizations try to associate themselves with specific colors, like Coca-Cola and red, or sounds, like McDonald’s and “I’m Lovin’ It.”

But Doritos went one step further and ‘colonized’ a mathematical shape. Yes, you guessed it - the shape of Doritos’ tortilla chips - a triangle. The marketing campaign is a scavenger hunt based on the idea that any triangular object could potentially be a Doritos chip.

The snack company has a TikTok challenge that encourages consumers to look for and share iconic triangle-shaped locations across the world on social media. There is also a Snapchat lens called ‘Triangle Tracker’ that allows users to flip real-life triangular objects into chips on their screens. Doritos even collaborated with Fortnite, and now there are some Easter Eggs in the video game, like the Doritos Triangle Island.

While the scavenger hunt campaign attracts customers as it includes product bonuses, prizes, and other incentives, more importantly, it creates a strong visual and mental connection between Doritos and triangle-shaped objects (something people encounter daily). As a result, the next time a person sees a triangle - it will automatically remind them of the brand.

Doritos creates a distinct identity, which helps consumers identify and differentiate the brand from others, and associate it with positive experiences, ultimately leading to a competitive advantage.

Domino’s effect is now touchless - order pizza with telekinesis 

Dominos mindorderingapp [Image: courtesy of Dominos]

Co-branding is another innovative and effective marketing strategy that can create a unique and enjoyable experience for the collaborating brands’ fans and reach a larger audience.

This is exactly what this brilliant Domino’s x Stranger Things campaign did. First, it included a three-minute advert video showing two characters from the famous Netflix series ordering pizza at Domino’s when suddenly the lights go off, and a pizza mysteriously appears out of nowhere as if it was ordered with telekinetic powers. In addition to the video, the pizza company launched a new integration on the app that uses face recognition and eye-tracking tech to allow customers to order a pizza with ‘their mind.’

All the small details in the video, like the setting, location, costumes, musical background, and of course, favorite characters, make the fans happy as the ad appears like a deleted scene from the series rather than promotional marketing content. But the real highlight in the fans’ eyes is the ability to harness Eleven’s telekinetic powers, especially since it generates excitement for the new season.

This creative approach to making an original advert alongside an excellent new app feature targets the enormous “Stranger Things” fandom and connects them with Domino’s everyday products and sales. Co-branding allows brands to align themselves with complementary or shared values, resonating with the target audience and creating a more compelling and cohesive narrative that strengthens the emotional connection between the brands and their customers, enhancing the overall brand positioning.

A rift that actually brings people closer - have you seen Stranger Things?

When fans see a poster or a trailer for a new season of their favorite show, they get very excited and can’t wait for the release date. But Netflix went one (dozen) steps further to hype the premiere of the fourth season of Stranger Things with a truly epic, reality-bending, immersive show (you really have to see it!).

In addition to mind-controlling pizza ordering mentioned above, Netflix designed a campaign that projected the famous Upside Down world all across the globe. The Empire State Building (USA), Duomo Plaza (Italy), Mumbai’s Gateway (India), and Bondi Beach (Australia) are just a few of the locations where the fans saw the obscure rift appear alongside the spooky creatures and main characters.

The real beauty of this campaign is that these projections, combined with sound effects and other physical attractions, were so unusual and vivid in real life that it led to enormous digital word-of-mouth. As a result, this outdoor advertising not only attracted a live audience but it reached millions more through social media.

With such an immersive campaign, apart from leaving the fans astonished, Netflix promises the fourth season of Stranger Things to be next-level, something the fans aren’t ready for but definitely can’t wait for.

Adidas uses technology to capture and crown the alien

After helping his country win the World Cup, Messi helped Adidas launch the best campaign of last year and generate over 250 million organic views across social media.

Messi Messi Messi Messi 5 next-level ad campaigns and what can marketers learn from them [Image: courtesy of Adidas]

Before, during, and after the World Cup, the sportswear chain popped off a lot of top-notch marketing content featuring the Argentinian footballer. But the absolute marvel of the campaign was the astonishingly enormous, full-motion 3D billboard in Dubai, or to be precise, a six-second video showing it. This out-of-home installation applied CGI and merged five World Cup editions of Messi from 2006 to 2022 into a captivating collage, just like in the Impossible Rondo.

To honor Messi’s legacy, the apparel brand adopted a degree of deception to create a media moment so legendary and authentic that people didn’t (want to) see it as a direct advertisement. The six-second clip created the illusion that an ordinary person was filming the billboard on their phone while driving by, but it was actually designed and aired by Adidas itself.

The company deliberately made the video vertically, with choppy sound, vehicles passing in front of the camera, and as if it was filmed at night - right after the final, so it would appear unbranded, more realistic, and more authentic to viewers. To top it off, it was uploaded by a random account, not Adidas’ official page.

As social media users were unaware that this was Adidas’ hidden advertisement, they unknowingly created a massive buzz by simply sharing a ‘cool video’ with their friends. Within the first two days, the fake 3D billboard clip reached 100 million organic views and 12.5 million engagements across Instagram, Tiktok, and Twitter.

To sum up, if you’re hoping to design a successful marketing campaign in 2023 and beyond, it’s key to:

  • Make it dynamic, vivid, and authentic so it stands out from all other content;

  • Create a memorable and meaningful association with your advert and/or brand for better recall;

  • Properly time your ad launch as the context of current affairs and/or the momentum of others’ success can benefit you too;

  • Let social media and digital word-of-mouth become your ally, not your enemy;

  • Utilize technology to design an immersive and engaging experience for your audience.

Curious about what else top marketers are doing to stay ahead in 2023?

Check out the State of Content report to learn more 👇

Join the Bynder community Subscribe