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Case Study On Integrated Marketing Communications

What do effective integrated marketing campaigns have in common?

Integrated marketing campaigns can be a tricky art to perfect. We live in a multi-media world, which means that new media and old media sit alongside one another, sometimes competing, other times working collectively - in the case of integrated campaigns they work together.

However despite saying all of this, what is it that actually leads to successful results? Consistent branding and messaging, frequency of communications and deciding on your primary medium are collectively important points to factor in. Let’s take a look at some of the most impressive integrated campaigns:

#1 Compare the Market - Baby Oleg

On Christmas Day 2013, comparethemarket.com released a television advert revealing new character Baby Oleg. In January 2014 the campaign went into full swing with an advertisement promoting a cuddly toy to accompany the cute Meerkat. Following this announcement a blog was created for Oleg online, for customers to read, encouraging emotional involvement: http://www.comparethemarket.com/meerkat/blog/oleg/.

Connecting the character from the advertisement with the audience has been achieved by creating a toy and the blog, turning Oleg into a character that can create emotional involvement - integrated collectively these separate parts to the campaign have driven consumer engagement successfully.

More recently, in August we were shown Baby Oleg’s life journey.

The continuous roll out and development on this character throughout the year has proven consistency of the brand and messaging - key factors in creating a solid campaign. These friendly Meerkats have almost become part of everyday life, as they quite literally pop up everywhere.

#2 O2 - Be More Dog

Originally launch last year O2’s ‘Be More Dog’ campaign, which featured a ginger cat trying to live a dog’s life had been a huge success for the brand. Granted - being ‘more dog’ has nothing to do with mobile phones, but the quirkiness of the integrated campaign is what led its success.

To promote its revamped priority app in May 2014 launched a £7m campaign using England rugby players, Mike Brown and Alex Goode attempting to Be More Dog: in this, we see the cat become a motivational speaker.

As well as television and cinema, the campaign also features outside and online executions, with geo-located mobile advertisements and homepage takeovers on a range of websites, including MSN and YouTube. The O2 priority app in itself is a marketing tool, offering consumers the chance to buy tickets and experiences before anyone else.

This integrated marketing campaign from O2 is so clever it not only intrigues users due to its kooky nature and offers them something extra in the form of priority.

#3 Three.co.uk - Sorry for all the holiday Spam

Launching a package for customers to use their phone in 16 destinations worldwide like they would at home, with no extra cost for data led to 3 having to make one large apology... to the entire nation.

Due to their poor deal, it mean't everyone was constantly on social media whilst on their holiday, encouraging a shed load of holiday spam: photos of beaches, swimming pools, sunsets, tanned legs and of course, food. Along with this there a website was created dedicated to the cause: http://www.stopholidayspam.com.

The first part of the campaign, the television advertisement was enough to get viewers’ attention, but then came customer engagement and interaction. As predicted or at least as the marketers over at 3 had hoped consumers got involved and took holiday snaps using the hashtag #holidayspam. Of course some of those social media posts wouldn’t have been done consciously because of 3, which makes the campaign so clever.

Relevance is the key to this integrated campaign - it was successful by people being able to relate to it, whether they were on holiday, or fed up of everyone else’s holiday spam. The campaign was also consistent with the hashtag #holidayspam included in every part of the marketing collateral.

#4 Lidl - #lidlsurprises

The most recent Lidl Surprises, ingenious campaign rolled out on the 4th September on television, print and outdoor - accompanied by a larger than normal social media boost.

The TV advertisement shows customers enthusiastically looking at, and purchasing wholesome goods at a little market, which in fact turns out to be a Lidl market - this is followed with the #lidlsurprises tagline, because everyone loves a pun.

The hashtag/tagline has been integrated throughout all channels connecting all elements together. There’s also an interactive website dedicated to #lidlsurprises where you can spin to receive the surprise result of a recipe to cook: https://www.lidlsurprises.co.uk.

The entire campaign is amongst Lidl’s efforts to step away from traditional media, moving into engaging and interacting with its customers on social media and in stores. Mixing both traditional and digital media together offers a smooth transition to a more up to date modern approach for Lidl’s marketing efforts.

This campaign is definitely a step in the right direction, putting Lidl right up against UK supermarket giants like Tesco and Asda. It is difficult to determine the full extent of the success this campaign has achieved yet. Despite this, the social media buzz surrounding it was significant.

#5 Coca-Cola - Coca-Cola Life

Recently, Coca-Cola launched a new product to its long standing line of soft drinks, called 'Coca-Cola Life' along with a month long campaign. Coca-Cola Life fits in the same kind of category as Coke Zero and Diet Coke - another one of Coca-Cola’s attempts to release a healthier option to its main heavily sugary product.

The campaign is being rolled out across 7,000 outdoor locations nationwide with billboards, bus and digital screen ads; these are all being supported by print, digital, experiential and point of sale activity. Although television is not being used the buzz on social media since the drinks’ launch has been mainly positive.

Along with all of the above, Coca-Cola launched a competition - on Saturday 20th September a pop-up shop opened on South Molton Street, London offering customers to not just have a taste of the new Life drink, but also give them a chance of winning a Coca-Cola Life prize - one of those being a long weekend in New York City. Of course, to fulfil the campaign’s integrated position those who were not able to visit the pop-up shop still had the chance to enter the competition by sharing a Coca-Cola Life moment picture online and using the hashtags #CocaColaLife and #comp.

The product is yet to be proven as a success, but as a campaign it’s fulfilling every specification to be a great integrated marketing campaign.

There’s a few lessons that can be learned from these integrated marketing case studies; one of those being that it doesn’t matter if you mix up the media within your campaign, in fact it’s largely positive, you just have to ensure that there is brand consistency across the entire roll out.

The way in which the message is communicated can also alter the effectiveness of the campaign, as can choosing which media should be at the forefront or the driving factor behind your strategy. It can all become a difficult balance to get right but it’s crucial that you do get it right.

[Editor's note: Thanks to Maggie for selecting and describing these case studies of integrated campaigns so well. For our advice on creating better integrated campaigns, see our integrated campaign planning guide and template for Expert members.]

Maggie Majstrova is the Studio Manager at Higher Ground Creative, with a background in Account Management and Web Development. You can connect with Maggie on LinkedIn and Google+ 

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Integrated marketing is driving 2017’s most successful campaigns. Get inspired with our favorite examples of brands doing a smashup job.

There are many definitions (and arguments) for integrated marketing, but I think one of the best versions comes from Nicholas Kinports, EVP of Strategy at NOTICE Agency:

“Integration means mapping your strategy to the reality of the customer. Where does she go and what does she do every day? Your marketing message must be aligned across all of those touch points, which in 2017 are usually experiential, smartphone, and news feed app-driven. If the message doesn’t align, you’ve lost her and she likely isn’t coming back. That’s the new reality of the ultra-short attention span consumer.”

Our favorite integrated marketing campaigns take a message and tailor it for every part of the customer journey, then tie it all back to the end goal. Without further ado…

1. lululemon uses brand ambassadors as the grassroots center of it’s message.

Did you know one of the most important athletic apparel brands of our time started as a little yoga studio in Canada? That’s the lululemon story, and it’s all due to a great product combined with even better marketing. Who would have thought that the right brand ambassadors would not influence sales, but do it for free… Want to get the details? Check out our lululemon case study on brand ambassadors.

lululemon Integrated Marketing Strategy: Brand Ambassadors+Events+Out of Home+Social

  • Brand ambassadors give free class events in stores several times per week, sharing in social media
  • Influencers show off product on Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat
  • Digital video does the heavy lifting, though the company did not run ads until 2017

2. Porsche is using events and influencers around the United States to appeal to a broader audience.

For as long as I can remember, Porsche has been my Dad’s car. Let’s put aside my bank balance for a minute, I’m not even sure I would want a sports car. I mean, what’s so great about it anyway? Porsche is seeking to change that mindset with a series of pop-up events around the country.

Porsche Integrated Marketing Strategy: Events+Influencers+Social+Video+Radio

  • Pop-up events in iconic locations like Chicago’s Soldier Field announced close to the day of using social media influencers creates urgency and buzz.
  • Mobile-friendly content delivered to geo-targeted affluent consumer smartphones in days leading up to the event generates awareness and kicks off sharing, allowing the brand to get Instagram followers and build momentum.
  • Snapchat and Instagram Stories activation with an insanely shareable experience. The Porsche Racing Team takes guests on whiplash-inducing hot laps around a temporary autocross track.
  • Activation with VR and 360 video of other iconic Porsche driving experiences on the side lines.
  • Post-event streaming radio with hooks to a content-based website push consumers further down the funnel and extend event value.

Porsche Popup Autocross Event Series from NOTICE – A Social Content Agency.

3. The Field Museum is bringing exhibits out of the basement and into the real world.

Chicago’s Field Museum decided to up their marketing game by employing an integrated approach to drive special exhibit attendance. By creating interactive experiences throughout the urban core, the brand is able to break through. Trust me, when you are walking down the street and stumble on ancient terracotta warriors, it’s kind of impossible to ignore.

The Field Museum Integrated Marketing Strategy: Experiential+Influencers+Social+Out of Home+Digital Display+Video

  • Amazing surprise locations with clues shared in social media mere hours before they appear drives true viral engagement.
  • Incredibly detailed replica exhibits demand social media interaction, and target Instagram Stories, regular Instagram, and Snapchat.
  • Social media influencers with specific interest in location are given exclusive Cultural Ambassador status, helping them feel special about sharing campaign content and driving continued social media buzz.
  • Impactful out of home advertising like lamp post banners and billboards alert city dwellers a new surprise is on the way.
  • Digital paid media including targeted, rich interactive ad units provide another way to get in on the fun.
  • Super fun videos captured of crowds interacting with exhibits, as well as 360 videos help the world get in on the action.

The Field Museum: #SpotAWarrior Campaign Recap from NOTICE – A Social Content Agency

4. GoPro is leveraging user-generated content to own action sports.

GoPro uses the theme “Be a HERO” to connect with its target audience in a meaningful way. Using brand-related sponsorships and endorsements, outdoor ads, SEO, web, and heavy social media, GoPro integrates all of their marketing efforts with plenty of engaging content from customers themselves. Top it all off with a comprehensive “always on” brand ambassador marketing program, and you’ve got a winning challenger brand.

GoPro Integrated Marketing Strategy: Search+Social+Out of Home+Video

GoPro uses the theme “Be a HERO” to connect with its target audience in a meaningful way. Using brand-related sponsorships and endorsements, outdoor ads, SEO, web, and heavy social media, GoPro integrates all of their marketing efforts with plenty of engaging content from customers themselves.

  • GoPro users can submit their original videos using the latest GoPro HERO 5 to win Video or Photo of the Day on GoPro’s social media channels.
  • The brand was able to score one of the top ads of the year by using a firefighter’s original GoPro video, proving that when you have a strong brand message, even user-generated content will represent your campaign and make it successful.
  • Out of home ads in key markets leveraged user-generated content to show the cool factor and associate further with the adrenaline junky lifestyle.
  • Tie in with sponsorships around the integrated campaign instantly delivers a targeted, scalable audience.

By the way, even though I’ve watched it countless times, I never get tired of this GoPro video:

5. Extreme Sports Ownership and Events: Red Bull Takes Integrated Marketing to the Next Level

Red Bull will always be fan and marketer favorite. Through endorsements, sponsorships, web, social, TV, etc, all efforts lead back to “Red Bull gives you wings.” Whether it’s literal wings per certain TV spots, or metaphoric with extreme sports, everyone can recall and relate to the tag line.

The Red Bull Stratos with Feliz Baumgartner is perhaps Red Bull’s most powerful marketing to date, with the space jump video still reminding us what? Red Bull does give ya wings — or at least sponsor really cool stunts where you don’t even need them.

6. BONUS: Challenger Brand Kraken Rum Leverages Integrated Marketing to Bypass Big Competitors

“Release the Kraken!” is not only a catchphrase for “The Clash of the Titans,” but it also represents the theme for Kraken Rum. Complete with package design, TV, out-of-home, blog and social content, Kraken strives to “release” its quirky personality everywhere. They have a giant Kraken mural in Brooklyn for fans to compare their size to the Kraken, and offer a follow up by asking viewers to post their pictures with the mural on Instagram with the hashtag #KrakenHugeness. A personal favorite is this out-of-home billboard where the beast may have actually been released:

Kraken Rum also has a mobile app where you can pretend to navigate the seas, hopefully avoiding certain disaster.  Reviewers have mentioned the game is not amazing, but better when drunk. Hopefully, they’re drinking Kraken.

Further Learning: Must-Read Integrated Marketing Resources with Case Studies

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