5 Examples of Successful Ad Campaigns

Posted on September 27, 2022 | Updated on October 28, 2022

Advertising campaigns are vital to the success of any business. Without marketing, companies are unable to tell potential customers about their products or services. The larger the company, the more ambitious an ad campaign can be. However, smaller companies and organizations can create business-changing campaigns. Experts use successful marketing campaigns to guide companies on effective strategies. Here are 5 examples of successful ad campaigns. 

1. “Just Do It”

There was a time when Nike marketed to marathon runners specifically. Eventually, the company realized that to expand its sales, it needed to compete against Reebok, which was outselling them. 

In the 1980s, Nike launched their “Just Do It” campaign, with the slogan and signature swoosh appearing on billboards and merchandise. It attracted so many new customers that its sales rose from $800 million to over $9.2 million. 

The campaign inspired people to take on different challenges and is still around today. 

2. The Absolut Bottle

In the 1980s, Absolut vodka launched the longest uninterrupted advertising campaign in history. Over the next couple of decades, the company launched print ads for different bottles “in the wild.”

The bottles don’t have a distinct look, but the campaign was so popular that the brand went from just 2.5% of the vodka market to over half of the United States’ imported vodka. 

The campaign ended in 2000, but customers and companies recognize it as one of the most effective campaigns. 

3. “Got Milk?”

In the early 1990s, the California Milk Processor Board came up with the “Got Milk?” campaign to promote the beverage, which was waning in popularity then. 

The first commercial was a hit, with an Alexander Hamilton fan losing a radio contest after he didn’t have milk to wash down his peanut butter sandwich. 

The slogan was so popular it got licensed by the Milk Processor Education Program and ended up in schools across the United States. 

“Got Milk?” recently came back, with MilkPEP using social media to introduce the campaign to a new generation. 

4. Dumb Ways to Die

Metro Trains in Melbourne, Australia, wanted to reinforce that people shouldn’t mess around near train tracks. They wrote a song called “Dumb Ways to Die” and added an animation to it. 

The video premiered on YouTube in 2012 and was a hit, with the upbeat song explaining all the ridiculous ways the characters passed away. It ends with the message that fooling around the train tracks is the dumbest way to die. The song continued to be a hit, airing on the radio with an accompanying ad. 

Many people still watch the video a decade later. It now has over 245 million views and spin-off videos with the characters during different holidays. 

5. “Share a Coke”

The Share a Coke campaign began in Australia in 2011 before storming the world. 

The campaign allowed consumers to purchase Coke bottles with their or their friends’ names. The company later expanded with nicknames like “better half” and the names of locations like “Hawaii.”

Coke didn’t just put names on bottles— they partnered with cities and bands to create songs and marquees with the bottles’ names. 

The campaign lasted through 2020 and experts used it to remind companies to make personal connections with their customers. 

Studying Successful Campaigns

A successful advertising campaign can transform a company’s sales for years. By studying these 5 examples of successful ad campaigns, we can understand the most effective strategies.

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