My Top 5 Favorite Marketing Campaigns

I’m in awe of marketers’ and other creative people’s imagination and creativity. I could only aspire and hope one day I dream of a memorable campaign like these. These campaigns have become part of pop culture, and no one can argue their impact.

Got Milk? Campaign

An iconic campaign, if there has ever been one. In the 1990s, the California Milk Processor Board looked for a new campaign to boost milk sales. They partnered with advertising firm Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

The famous slogan “Got Milk” was to encapsulate the emotional connection people had to milk when it was missing through their research. The campaign dominated the public consciousness due to its’ celebrity power, wholesome product, and simplicity. You know that you have a viral marketing campaign when people parodied it, made art, and copied it.

Decades later, it still attracts top stars in their campaign, and it is seen as an honour and a way for stars to confirm that they’ve ‘made it. It is still the most recognizable campaign for not a specific brand, but a whole single product is fantastic and hasn’t been seen since. The last time the Got Milk campaign ran was in 2014.

Bell’s Let’s Talk

Although controversial in its’ own right. There is no dispute about how viral this campaign was in Canada. “Let’s Talk?” Started in 2011, it was a first of its kind to bring mental health to the mainstream. Often, companies talk about mental health in the footnotes of their websites, but never as a crucial part of its’ identity.

The campaign was created to create a more stigma-free Canada and drive action in mental health care, research, etc. Its virality was, in large part, the conversation they started on social media. It became a yearly event that companies and individuals participated in.

Budweiser’s I AM CANADIAN

As you can tell, I’m a true Canadian girl at heart. I love this campaign even when I don’t drink beer. When this commercial dropped, it resonated with so many Canadians. The infamous “rant” truly put into words the nuances of what it means to be Canadians who are too often mistaken for Americans. To insult Canadians to confuse them with Americans or, worse, say they are just like Americans.

Budweiser played up its Canadian heritage and became the choice beer in Canada. This commercial itself has been parodied, copied, and shared many times.

Dove’s Real Campaign

The decades of curated, photoshopped, stylized images of models in our mass media have skewed many young females’ images of beauty. There is no question about it—the lack of average-looking people has impacted our self-esteem, self-image, and self-love. Dove flipped the script and focused on bringing this issue to light, featuring in their ADs people you would see every day, not dolled up or photoshopped. It was refreshing and unique for its time.

The Dove Real Beauty Sketches are one of my favourite concepts from this campaign. It had participants describe themselves to a sketch artist. They would describe themselves in unflattering terms. Then they got a stranger to describe them, and it was a different sketch altogether. It was a vulnerable, raw piece that many connected with and immediately understood.

Of course, it has been parodied, copied, and emulated. It sparked other mainstream brands to move towards using more realistic models that reflect their everyday consumers.

Nike’s Just Do it

Iconic, this campaign is simply that. One of the few campaigns I’ve seen motivated people’s actions other than buying or elevating a brand. This campaign inspired people to “Just Do It.” I remember a story where a man was contemplating if he should propose. He saw the AD and took it as a sign to do it. Very few companies can make that claim.

It started in 1988 and has reportedly contributed to an increase of 18% to 43%. That’s amazing. Created by Widen + Kennedy, Nike and the Design company still get letters, emails, and calls about the impact this tagline had on their lives. No matter their age, gender, appearance, or any other difference. This campaign holds a special place in people’s minds.

What do all these campaigns have in common? I believe the main reason for their success and staying power in the public collective is because it focuses on a shared emotion/feeling. It found common ground that a massive swath of people can relate to.

Work Cited

Schwartz, M. (2018, June 13). Got Milk? How the iconic campaign came to be 25 years ago. Fast Company; Fast Company.

‌Creative Review. (2012, February). The history of Nike’s Just Does It slogan – Creative review. Creative Review.

Schwartz, M. (2018, June 13). Got Milk? How the iconic campaign came to be 25 years ago. Fast Company; Fast Company.

Bell Let’s Talk. (n.d.). Retrieved May 14, 2022, from


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