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14 types of marketing campaign examples to inspire your next creative project

17 min read
Katie Oberthaler

We all want our marketing campaigns to have the greatest impact possible and resonate with our target audience. With a single advertising and marketing campaign including multiple channels and content types, capturing the interest of one’s core audience requires more heavy lifting from the creative team than ever before.

With so much creative work necessary to simply get a campaign launched, choosing the right type of marketing campaign from the start is critical to allocating creative resources wisely.

In this article, we will define the components that make a campaign successful and share 14 types of successful marketing campaigns that are most common in the market today. 

Read on for new ideas to create innovative campaigns that reach your audience across several channels and inspire your creative team.

Components of a successful marketing campaign

With the exception of awareness campaigns (which don’t usually include an offer), successful marketing campaigns include the following components:

  • A clearly defined outcome: Campaigns all start with a well-defined outcome. Do you want to sell a new product? Tell your current customers that part of your service has changed? Gain more followers on Facebook or TikTok? These are examples of measurable goals for marketing campaigns.
  • An audience: Are you advertising to current customers? Or are you trying to attract new ones? The target audience for your marketing campaign will impact everything from its goal to its messaging to the creative channels used in the campaign. 
  • An offer: What type of action do you want your audience to take when interacting with your creative content? Are you inviting them to sign up for a webinar? A free product trial? The offer or action will define how your marketing campaign content communicates with your audience and ultimately how your creative content in the campaign is produced.
  • A clear message: Are you selling a product? Creating brand awareness? Giving away some freebies? Deciding on a clear message and maintaining that message across all the assets created within a marketing campaign is essential to its success.

Now that you know the basics of marketing campaigns, let's look at some examples that might inspire you as you create your next campaign.


14 types of marketing campaigns

One of the most important decisions when developing a marketing campaign is deciding what type of campaign you want to run.

The right type of  marketing campaign is one that supports your goal and works for the platform your target audience is using.

Here are 14 types of marketing campaigns:

  1. Brand awareness campaign
  2. Rebranding campaign
  3. Search engine marketing campaign 
  4. Social media marketing campaign
  5. User-generated content (UGC) marketing campaign
  6. Email marketing campaign
  7. Public relations campaign
  8. Product launch campaign
  9. Referral marketing campaign
  10. SEO campaign
  11. Partner marketing campaign
  12. Conversational marketing campaign
  13. Influencer marketing campaign
  14. Video marketing campaign

Let's look at what makes each one special. 

1. Brand awareness campaign

A brand awareness campaign only has one goal: to spread the word about who you are and what you do. 

The campaign goal should go beyond brand or logo recognition. Your campaign should communicate what your business does and what makes you different from your competitors. Many of the most successful brand awareness campaigns also convey a company’s values.

If your campaign is successful, the next time the person comes into contact with your brand, they won't just know what you sell—they'll know what you are about.. 

Example: Anheuser-Busch

One of our favorite examples of recent brand awareness campaigns is from Anheuser-Busch

This American brewery changed its production facility to manufacture hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether the brewery intended the temporary change in production to boost its brand reputation isn't clear, but one thing is certain: It did. 

 

Twitter post Anheuser Busch thanks to the teams producing and distributing hand sanitizer

 

After the brewery started making hand sanitizer, news networks and newspapers from around the country picked up the story. 

The company responded to the media attention by emphasizing that they were there to help. 

“Our communities and our people are incredibly resilient,” a company spokesperson said at the time. By providing resources to those on the front lines, we are committed to doing our part to support the individuals across the country who truly represent the best of the American spirit.”

This was a brilliant strategy that demonstrated Anheuser-Busch's values and reached millions of American consumers. 

The next time a customer saw Anheuser-Busch beer on a shelf in a store, it's likely they remembered how the company fulfilled a need during the pandemic. 

2. Rebranding campaign

The most successful companies always find a way to revitalize their products and stay relevant. 

That's what rebranding campaigns are for: to relaunch much-loved products or to introduce your company's new set of values to your customers. 

Either way, launching a rebranding campaign needs to be about more than a font change. It needs to be a full-fledged effort to modernize a product or show your customers that you are slowly moving towards something different. 

Example: Kellogg

When Kellogg decided to rebrand its European cereal products, it was the biggest branding change the company had made in over 100 years. 

The campaign's goal was simple: to bring a clean, fresh, modern look to their cereal packages to meet the aesthetics of the European market. Before the rebranding, Kellogg announced its campaign goal to have new artwork that “reflects the naturalness of the food and the heritage of the Kellogg story.” 

Here's what they came up with: 

Kellogg redesigns its cereal boxes in Europe to reflect ‘naturalness’ of food

[Image source]

The rebranding was a success. After the marketing campaign, Kellogg found that 70% of customers found it easier to locate their cereals in a store, and that the branding change boosted their "purchase intent" by 50%. 

3. Search engine marketing campaign 

When customers use search engines, you can target them with search engine marketing (SEM).

The idea is that when people search for a term or ask a question, you can target them with paid advertisements in the search results. 

Since most new visitors now find websites using search engines, launching search engine marketing campaigns is a great way to drive potential customers to your site. 

Example: Upwork

Upwork is an online marketplace that matches businesses with freelancers—and the company drives a lot of traffic to its site using search engine marketing. 

Using paid advertisements, Upwork targets specific search terms related to freelancing to get clicks. For example, if you Google "best freelancer," Upwork appears in the top position of the site's search results: 

 

Upwork.com in search results in Google sponsored campaign

 

It's a simple and effective strategy: Upwork promotes its  “unmatched quality” and its top-rated talent that it's ready to hire out. It also offers the searcher site extension links to find out more about how the platform works and start hiring instantly. 

The campaign is a great example of matching search intent with paid search engine advertising to help drive traffic to a website. 

4. Social media marketing campaign

You can use social media marketing campaigns to reach people on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter—even LinkedIn. 

Beyond picking what platforms you are going to use for the marketing campaign, you’ll have to decide whether to publish content organically (for free), or use paid ads—or both. 

Social media marketing campaigns can support a wide range of different goals. They can help you build brand awareness, retarget visitors who have bounced from your website, or even nudge customers to complete an abandoned cart transaction. 

Example: Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness is another great example of a company that turned the COVID-19 pandemic into a marketing opportunity. 

As one of the most popular gyms in America, the company had to rethink its business model during pandemic-related shutdowns. Planet Fitness started offering daily classes on Facebook Livestream to keep its customer base motivated and entice new people to join its gym. 

Planet Fitness youtube channel movies thumbnails

The campaign was a hit with the Planet Fitness audience. Each free video had thousands of views, and Planet Fitness followers wrote rave reviews about the remote classes:

Planet Fitness facebook comments section

Not only did the campaign keep Planet Fitness' audience engaged until their gyms reopened, but it's also likely the gym won over a whole new section of customers!

5. User-generated content (UGC) marketing campaign

User-generated content (UGC) marketing campaigns invite a company’s audience to create content, instead of creating the content in-house.

The reason is simple: Sometimes your audience will turn off if they think you're trying to sell them something. However, if their friend or colleague is doing the talking, they're much more likely to be engaged with the content. 

This type of marketing campaign can boost a campaign's trustworthiness as the content comes from a relevant source—the users themselves. 

Example: ALS Association – Ice Bucket Challenge

Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

People doing ALS Bucket challenge in red and black clothes

[Image source: Capjournal]

 

The challenge spread like wildfire across social media. Facebook data shows videos involved in the challenge earned 10 billion views from more than 440 million people. 

And the reason it was so popular? People, not brands, created the videos. 

The ALS Association launched this campaign to spread awareness of neurodegenerative disease and raise money. The final figure proves the campaign's success—a nearly 2,000% increase in donations to The ALS Association! 

6. Email marketing campaign

Email marketing campaigns are one of the most popular tools in a marketer's toolbox. 

Reaching customers (and potential customers) via email is still one of the best ways to communicate with them, as 90% of adults and surprisingly, over 70% of teenagers, use email regularly.  

Launching an email marketing campaign gives your company the chance to talk to people 1-on-1 in their inbox, and encourage them to take a look at your latest product, or even just keep them updated on events. 

Example: charity: water

Charity: water  uses email to regularly communicate with their audience and provide progress reports. 

Charity water progress update screenshot

The emails include detailed breakdowns of how the charity spends donations, what projects are in progress, and they include a feedback form that encourages recipients to get involved. 

7. Public relations campaign

Public relations campaigns help companies get the word out about an event or product launch. 

The idea is that by launching a public relations campaign, your message will reach a larger audience, who will then pass it on. Of course, the ultimate goal for these types of campaigns is to catch another audience's attention: the media. 

The right campaign will have a newsworthy angle that media organizations can turn into a story and create even more buzz around your announcement. 

Example: Carlsberg

Here is another one of our COVID-19 marketing campaign favorites from Carlsberg Denmark.

To keep the public's morale high during lockdown, the brewery launched their  Adopt a Keg campaign, inviting people to scan Carlsberg beer they purchased at a shop. 

 

Carlsberg Help Denmark Bars Come back stronger

 

Once customers purchased and scanned four Carlsberg beer cans, they filled their "virtual keg" and were eligible  for the prize: two Carlsberg beers when bars and restaurants reopened.

The campaign was so successful that Carlsberg expanded it to four other markets. 

8. Product launch campaign

Product launches play a major role in the success of any new company release. 

Getting a product launch campaign right means targeting the right audience and creating enough buzz around your offer to get people excited. With more than three-fifths of people being unaware of any recent product launches, it's safe to say that product launch campaigns are a necessity. 

Example: Robinhood

When Robinhood launched its stock trading app, it made its audience wait months to get a taste of the product. 

Yep—over 1 million people waited in line to get early access to Robinhood's product. 

Robinhood product get early access

The message was simple: Get early access to a product that will charge you $0 commission for stock trades. 

But it was the offer that was the real winner of the launch. To get access, people had to opt-in for the product. If you wanted to jump ahead of the line, you could by inviting your friends to opt-in as well. 

This strategy created a lot of interest in the product, and helped Robinhood pull off a successful launch. 

9. Referral marketing campaign

Referral programs give your customers the best of both worlds: They can recommend a product they love to their friends and family, and get a reward for their efforts. 

The success of referral marketing programs is due to the fact that people trust their friends and family for product recommendations much more than companies—9 out 10 customers trust recommendations from their peers, and 83% of people say if a friend or family member recommends something to them, they're more likely to buy it. 

Creating a successful referral marketing program can help your company reach an audience that’s ready to give you a chance. Referral marketing campaigns have a strong track record. Companies like Uber, Google, Amazon Prime, and Airbnb have used them to build their customer bases. 

Example: Lyft

Lyft is a rideshare company that launched a simple yet uber-successful referral marketing campaign based on cash incentives. 

Lyft sent its users a unique referral code and encouraged them to invite their friends to try out the service with a discounted ride: 

Lyft application screenshot Refer Friends

[Image source: Pinterest]

The referral marketing program was successful, with a 28% increase in average monthly rides, and a noticeable increase in customers cashing in on their bonuses: 

Lyft driver referral bonuses chart from December to May

10. SEO campaign

Search engine optimization campaigns help drive organic traffic to websites using search intent, keywords, and content. 

To get your content to rank on a search engine, you need to optimize elements like titles, metadata, and keywords. Your domain authority,  page load speed, and other factors will also impact your search engine rankings. 

Example: OVME

OVME is a medical aesthetic practice that used an SEO campaign to drive more organic traffic to its site. 

The company focused on simplifying its website and optimizing its titles, alt tags, schema markup, page content, and metadata to include keywords that potential customers may use in search queries. 

Aestethics landing page overview

Within three months, OVME saw a 10% increase in organic website traffic, and their online bookings grew by over 1,000%. 

Making simple SEO changes on your website can dramatically boost the number of people landing on it and, ultimately, the number of conversions. 

11. Partner marketing campaign

Sometimes, products sell better in pairs. 

In partner marketing campaigns, two non-competing companies join forces and advertise a product or service to a similar target audience. The idea is that both brands can benefit from each other's existing customer base, and some crossover will occur. 

Example: Apple + Mastercard

When Apple released Apple Pay, it hoped to change the way people purchased products—instead of using a credit card, they could just use their phone. 

However, the company didn't have payment technology, so it needed to partner with an existing credit card company. So, it did just that. Mastercard signed up to Apple Pay and became the first company to enable its customers to pay using their phone or Apple Watch. 

Mastercard with Apple Pay showing pay with watch

This is a great example of partnership marketing campaign done right: The companies do not sell the same product, but through working together, they created a revolutionary way to shop. 

12. Conversational marketing campaign

Conversational marketing campaigns aim to engage with website visitors using a more personalized approach. 

Instead of asking your customers to email you or call a customer support line, conversational marketing engages with your visitors in real time using automated conversations, live chat, or a combination of those methods. 

Conversational marketing campaigns give your company a chance to interact with visitors both at scale and on a human level. 

Example: JivoChat

An example of how conversational marketing works comes from JivoChat, an omnichannel business messenger. 

JivoChat’s customers use the business messenger to interact with their target audience across many different digital channels: live chat, chatbots, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, and more.

Here's an example of what a website visitor will see, if a company is using JivoChat: 

 

Jivo Chat with support member bot

Using behavioral triggers, JivoChat proactively engages site visitors with personalized messaging, and do it at scale across different channels.  

13. Influencer marketing campaign

Influencer marketing campaigns are like turbocharged referral marketing campaigns. 

Instead of asking your customers to refer your product to their family and friends, you engage a popular social media influencer or blog writer to recommend your product. If the campaign is successful, you can potentially introduce your brand to thousands (or millions) of new people. 

Example: Chase/US Open

After sponsoring the US Open for more than three decades, Chase decided to try a different approach for the 2016 tournament. 

To give viewers a more intimate experience, Chase partnered with one of the most popular men's tennis players at the time, Andy Roddick. The influencer campaign was simple: Roddick had a huge fan base, and he would engage them (and others) by watching games, commentating live, and hosting Q&A sessions with fans. Roddick tagged Chase in his posts, increasing exposure for the brand.

US Open twitter post by andyroddick about match

[Image source: Periscope]

The results were immediate. Over 2.5 million people watched Roddick's broadcasts throughout the tournament. 

14. Video marketing campaign

With 2 billion people watching videos on YouTube every month, video marketing campaigns are a powerful tool every marketer should be using. 

Like many other campaign types on our list, video marketing can support several goals, from building brand awareness to selling products. However, the beauty of video marketing campaigns is their simplicity: They give your audience a way to digest your content easily, without reading or scrolling through lots of information. 

Example: Million Dollar Shave Club

If you haven't seen Million Dollar Shave Club's iconic video marketing campaign, now is the time. 

The company launched the campaign to sell its low-cost razor subscriptions to men who were, in the owner's eyes, "fed up with the razor monopoly." They decided to get their message across in a 90-second clip:

Million dollar shave club marketing campaign ad on monopoly

[Source: YouTube]

The joke-filled video launched in 2012 and immediately went viral. Within 48 hours, the company received over 12,000 orders. Four years later, Million Dollar Shave Club sold for $1 billion. 


These creative campaign examples all share one common feature: the creative assets resonate with the brand's target audience. The success of a creative campaign depends on the ability to connect with a buyer's pain points or aspirations and clearly communicate the benefits of your product or service. If you can do this authentically across any marketing channel, you’ll be successful.

Katie Oberthaler