5 More Provocative and Daring Marketing Campaigns So Far in 2013

Modern Marketing


Back in May I posted a blog on 5 of the Most Innovative and Unique Marketing Campaigns So Far in 2013. Since then, I have come across many more awesome marketing campaigns in 2013 that I wanted to highlight and give some love to.

More and more companies are starting to embrace multi-channel marketing that touches consumers on many levels. It is extraordinarily interesting to watch companies embrace content marketing in such a deep way, appealing to consumers with an approach that makes use of current events, nostalgia, and emotions.

Let’s take a look at 5 more innovative marketing campaigns that are pushing boundaries.

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1) Chipotle’s “The Scarecrow

Chipotle has truly embraced the concept of relevancy and emotion in their content marketing efforts with their short film “The Scarecrow”.  The film, created to promote a new mobile game, mixes the haunting vocals of Fiona Apple singing “Pure Imagination” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” with a stark commentary on industrial food production. Viewers are taken on somber Scarecrow’s journey through the industrial food production industry, complete with very sad cows and chickens. However, after leaving the factory the scarecrow is inspired to create and sell fresh food from his garden. Flowers grow and everything is well again.

What is so interesting about this campaign is that Chipotle is taking a huge risk here by making a commentary on the fast food industry. The campaign certainly received a ton of buzz—both positive and negative. In fact, Funny or Die posted their own commentary in response, pointing out what they perceived as hypocrisy in Chipotle’s message.

I applaud brands like Chipotle for taking these risks. Personally, their video resonated with me. However, be aware that if your brand decides to take a stance on a controversial topic, be prepared for potential backlash.

2) Microsoft’s Child of the 90s Campaign

So, I don’t use Internet Explorer, however I LOVED this campaign and the accompanying video. I mean, it features Lisa Frank folders, fanny packs, Oregon Trail, trolls, and more iconic images from my childhood.

They even featured the wallet chain trend that I obsessed over in junior high. (Anyone remember trying to get out of your desk after class, only to find your wallet chain had gotten stuck in the chair??)

Yup. This is me probably wearing a wallet chain. A pure child of the 90s.

dayna wallet chain

I loved this video because it made me smile. They hit the nail on the head of many major trends I remembered and loved during my childhood. And at the end, it made me want to consider Internet Explorer again, because hey, they understood me and my pog-loving ways.

And it resonated with a lot of people on social channels. Just check out some of the YouTube comments.

comments on microsoft child youtube

Clearly, it had the effect Microsoft was going for.

3) Sungard Zombie Survival Kit

Yay! A B2B example! This campaign actually made me fill out a form. And as a marketer, I can be weary of forms. But I loved this. Their message? “The Zombie Apocalypse is Coming” (nice Game of Thrones Reference thrown in, BTW), “Is Your Enterprise Disaster Recovery Plan Ready?”

The ask? To download their Zombie Apocalypse guide. Yes, please!

zombie apocalypse survival guide

And then look what I got: an awesome zombie ebook. Killer (pardon the pun), right?

zombie apocalypse guide 2

They also created an infographic:

zombie infographic

And they created a social media campaign, during which they gave out a Zombie Apocalypse survival kit:

Zombie survival kit

I found this to be a fun, and very cool take on making your marketing interesting, particularly if you are in B2B.

4) Oreo Daily Twist

Oreo is really pushing the boundaries of their content and messaging with some of their recent campaigns. One of my favorites is the Oreo Daily Twist. It’s simple: each day they have a new photo image featuring their cookie, imagined in different ways to promote different messages.

These images are simple, true to their brand, and highly shareable. Here are some of my favorites:

September 28th was the 1st flight around the world:

oreo flight around the world

September 22nd was the first day of autumn:

oreo first day of autumn

They even paid homage to Shark Week:

oreo shark week

The result? Me eating a stack of Oreo cookies immediately after writing this part of the post. Mmmm…

5) “Carrie” Remake Prank Viral Video

I saw this one today and totally loved it. As a huge fan of the original movie, I was not totally sure about the remake. But this video made me think twice because I am a super fan of great marketing—and I love stunts.

To drum up buzz for the film, the movie producers choreographed an elaborate stunt staged at a NYC coffee shop featuring a supposedly telekinetic woman wigging out (paying homage to the original movie). What happens? She gets angry at a staged spilled cup of coffee, throws an actor against the wall with “her powers”, and makes a bunch of furniture move. The video also captured the priceless audience reactions.

The verdict? Almost 21 million views and a lot of exposure and publicity for their new film.

What other campaigns from 2013 stick out in your mind? We would love to hear about them!

The key to creating successful marketing programs that innovate and spur the attention of your future customers is to plan in advance. Download the Program Plan Template for B2B Marketers or the Program Plan Template for Consumer Marketers to help you become efficient and creative in your marketing strategies.