You have definitely heard about all of them but you might have never thought about the scale and influence of these campaigns. They have hundreds of millions of views on YouTube, deliver life-changing statements and share stories you wish never ended. What’s even more fascinating, they were released a decade or even 50 years ago but still remain relevant and impactful today.

These are the seven campaigns that made a difference. The best advertising campaigns are often subtle, with world-famous brands backing some pretty impressive statements.

Best advertising campaigns of all time

Always, #LikeaGirl

In our fast paced society, it’s not enough to create just a good advertising campaign. It should be either clever and motivational or witty with a twist.

Always is on top of the latest trends because their ad campaign is just that. The campaign challenges the popular remark “You throw like a girl” or “You run like a girl”, which are often used to insult boys, and turns the phrase into a compliment.

#LikeaGirl features girls and highlights their confidence. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that since 2014, the women empowerment advertising campaign got more than 66 million views on YouTube.

Apple’s “Think Different”

Another popular ad campaign that has made a difference is “Think Different” by Apple. Since its launch in 1997, it has been everywhere from print ads to TV commercials until Apple went on to produce other campaigns.

Although the slogan has been criticized a lot, it can be clearly understood that copywriters have made this mistake for easier perception and clarity. Mac is for creatives who are not afraid to break the rules. Now, this interpretation is an integral part of the Apple image.

M&M’s chocolate bar commercial

Although M&M’s has been going along with the same ad campaign for more than half of the century, it still works.

This is one ad campaign example that uses storytelling as a marketing trick. Each of the comic characters has their own name and was featured in a commercial.

The first ads were launched in the 50s and ran in black and white, while today we can follow more colorful characters getting into funny situations, speaking our language and making the world giggle.

Dove’s “Real Beauty”

“Real Beauty” by Dove is a huge marketing campaign but let’s discuss its advertising aspect.

We’ve already said that the best advertising campaigns are usually motivational or funny and “Real Beauty” is definitely in line with the motivational talk. It celebrates the imperfections of women’s bodies and inspires women around the world to think differently about themselves, in a better way.

Initially, it was aired on TV and released as print ads but with time, it went viral on Youtube as a video campaign. In 2013,  Dove’s “Real Beauty” video became the most watched ad campaign ever.

Nike’s “Just Do It”

Perhaps there’s not a soul on earth that doesn’t know Nike’s “Just Do It” ad campaign. It was launched back in 1988, as an example of advertising at its best. “Just Do It” corresponds to the values and statements the brand has made through its journey on the market – interest in sports, competitive spirit, and the sweet taste of victory.

The ad campaign remains relevant 30 years later, and continues to go viral with over 17 million user-generated visuals posted with the hashtag #JustDoIt.

A fun fact is that this ad campaign has resulted in a peak in Nike’s revenue, raising sales by 31%.

Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”

If you don’t remember this funny ad campaign, perhaps you were born in the last five years or lived on a deserted island. This legendary commercial has been just everywhere since 2010.

Clearly targeted at women, it’s witty enough to get some giggles out of everyone. The clever insight is that deodorant is a product women most likely purchase when shopping. Who would have thought about targeting the real consumers directly and with a sense of humor? The video from which the advertising campaign started has over 56 million views on the official Old Spice YouTube page. Yet, it lasts only for 30 seconds.

Metro Trains’s “Dumb Ways to Die”

This ad campaign is notorious across generations – from children to seniors. It is an example of how to creatively deliver a serious message while keeping things fun. The main point is – do not approach the train tracks, as it may lead to injuries or even death. Simple enough, right?

Funny characters and illustrations of really “dumb” ways to die was a message that spread beyond Australian underground (for which this video was originally shot). Since its release in 2012, it got more than 180 million views on YouTube. That’s crazy, isn’t it?

These clever, funny, and touching ad campaigns are a symbol of the power of ideas. It goes to show that great ideas paired with excellent execution can turn things around for small brands, in some cases increase revenue, and simply take over the world with fun or powerful messages.

Subscribe to our blog

Stay up to date with trends, get valuable tips and insights as well as bonus materials.