The Best Marketing Campaigns of Summer 2017

Editor's note: Hungry for even more great 2017 marketing campaigns? Check out our round-ups of the best holiday campaigns of 2017 and the ultimate best marketing campaigns of 2017 list.

Summer might be winding down (say it isn’t so!) but the analysis of summer’s best marketing campaigns—including takeaway lessons marketers can continue to use as the seasons change—has just begun and we couldn’t be more excited (hashtag silver lining).

We’ve collected some of our favorite marketing campaigns of the summer and awarded top prizes by category:

Most Creative: Bacardi

Bacardi’s “Break Free” ad spot features a Caribbean town caught in an endless Boomerang loop—the vibrant subjects are unable to escape the repetitive motions of their day until a delicious alcoholic drink helps them to literally break free:

 

We love this minute-long spot from popular liquor company Bacardi because it uses this summer’s most popular Instagram feature in a completely unexpected yet totally familiar way—who among us hasn’t felt stuck in their daily routine and looked for a way to change it up? Even better, the ad showcases Bacardi’s product in its best light—as a catalyst for a lighthearted and exciting summer evening with friends.

The Best Use of Facebook Live: RetailMeNot

This summer, the Austin-based coupon site RetailMeNot put Facebook Live to excellent use with an exciting sweepstakes promotion. The giveaway was teased in the text accompanying their livestream post, but in order to find out how to win, fans had to watch the video, boosting engagement with the brand right off the bat. Then, RetailMeNot took fan engagement one step further: contestants had to comment on the post with their plans for the Fourth of July in order to throw their proverbial hats into the giveaway ring.

The video garnered huge engagement numbers: in two months, 156 thousand Facebook users watched the video and over two hundred commented. After explaining the sweepstakes, the video seamlessly transitions into highlighting RetailMeNot’s brand benefits—namely, deals to be had around the web.

RetailMeNot’s Facebook Live video encouraged audience participation and, with their question about fourth of July plans, demonstrated that the brand cares about the activities of their audience—two things known to encourage lasting brand loyalty.

Audience participation in campaigns encourages lasting brand loyalty.

 

Best Use of Data: Patrón

The high-end tequila brand developed a truly inspiring summer marketing campaign using data crowdsourced from Foursquare. Patrón compiled three years of data from 12 million Foursquare users in 100 cities, writes Adweek, to “develop an algorithm that recommends drinks to bar and restaurant patrons” based on location and known tastes.

The brilliance of the campaign lies in the way Patrón uses data to offer consumers a unique, personalized experience: “someone at a tiki bar may like citrusy drinks while a person at a speakeasy is more likely to enjoy boozier drinks,” explains Adweek. Brands that are able to know what we want before we know we want it and offer it up in a non-threatening way are able to build customer loyalty.

Best Customer Experience: LG

Is washing dishes fun? Usually, no, but this summer in Manhattan, it was: on a sweltering August weekend this summer, LG turned an Upper East Side block into a giant inflatable water park modeled after its new LG QuadWash dishwasher.

Image found on AdWeek

“When we were developing the marketing plan for this,” Peggy Ang, LG’s head of marketing for LG Home Appliances USA, told Adweek, “we were trying to think how we can make this fun and reposition what is traditionally a chore, a mundane category, into something that people and families can congregate and experience together.” Not only that, but the water park demonstrated—on a giant scale—the appliance’s unique features, like its four-pronged washing system, meaning LG could get people truly excited about the workings of a utilitarian appliance.

Best Mobile Campaign: Mazda

Mazda crashed into Facebook feeds this summer—literally—with a safety reminder we’re sure to remember. In an effort to stem the practice of scrolling and driving, Mazda created a Facebook campaign startling enough to stop violators in their tracks: As Facebook users scrolled through their feed on a mobile device, a car with screeching tires seems to crash into the screen, shattering it.

 

With the campaign, Mazda elegantly drives home the necessary message to put down phones while behind the wheel while also subtly positioning themselves on the correct side of responsible driving behavior.

Best Traditional Marketing: Twist Creative

Of the traditional marketing mediums—print, radio, television, and outdoor—the last is perhaps the most difficult to make fresh, surprising, and worth the real-world disruption. But this summer, Twist Creative did just that with billboards in Cleveland:

The billboards are meant to spark audience engagement with the brand: “Any good conversation needs a conversation starter,” Twist Creative told Adweek. When viewers go to the website, they’re asked for their thoughts and opinions about the billboards. Responses, according to the agency, have been overwhelmingly positive and have generated exciting conversations. Getting people excited about billboards is no easy feat, and Twist Creative’s accomplishment makes it one of Summer 2017’s best marketing campaigns.

Looking to create a stand-out marketing campaign that draws inspiration from the above while using marketing techniques proven to be effective? Our Finserv Tipsheet can help brands of all types overcome common social pitfalls and come away with stellar ad campaigns.

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Jaime Netzer is Spredfast's Senior Content Marketing Manager, leading content operations. A Lawrence, Kansas native, she traded seasons for breakfast tacos seven years ago and hasn't looked back since. Also a fiction writer and journalist, Jaime tweets semi-regularly and reads constantly.