It is one thing to keep your advertising unique amongst your competitors. It is something else entirely to change the face of advertising as we know it. Some companies and small businesses do well enough just surviving while others make their mark on advertising. You may not see your business as a trendsetter, but it can be helpful to see the companies that are changing the game to get some ideas and inspiration.
Advertising is a world that thrives on change. When new consumer preferences and technologies come to the table, companies need to change their marketing strategies in order to keep up with the times. Otherwise, these companies will fall behind the competition. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to find the new solutions and tactics to keep your business and its advertising efforts moving forward.
For some help, here is a look at five companies that are changing the game for themselves and others.
You probably do not recognize this brand name since it lacks the global punch of more major corporations. That fact, however, has not stopped this farmer-owned business cooperative from putting its own mark on advertising. What is so special or game-changing about a company that does not have its own Super Bowl ads?
It has been around for a while. The game-changing aspect about Tillamook is the fact that it refuses to die as industries and marketing shift. While other businesses fail to keep up with the changing times, this company has been at the forefront of marketing and its changing trends for an impressive 109 years.
Since its beginnings as a cheesemaker in 1909, Tillamook has weathered many challenging periods, like the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. These days, the company is utilizing social media like Instagram and Twitter, talking about Greek yogurt, showing exploding ice cream and demonstrating what the deconstruction of a grilled cheese sandwich actually looks like.
The lesson here? Age is not an issue in modern advertising.
It’s not always the company retailing its products that can change the face of advertising. In fact, it makes sense that some influential businesses are those that spend 100 percent of their time actually focused on marketing — like ad companies. One of the most well-known agencies that have influenced the industry for the past 35 years is Wieden+Kennedy.
This ad agency built its reputation doing some stellar work for Nike back in the 1990s. Responsible for showing sportswear in a way that made shoes cooler than shoes should be, W+K has long known how to adapt to the changing times while setting some trends of its own. With the rise of social media marketing and other new technologies, the advertising agency was one of the first to expand marketing campaigns beyond just the 30-second TV spot.
Today, W+K is pushing advertising into the experiential realm. Using new technology like virtual reality, 3D printing, and sports analytics, the company continues to work with titans like Nike and KFC, creating a custom sneaker innovation lab for the former and a VR training program for the latter.
Forsman & Bodenfors
Some companies do not get high marks for pushing the limit in terms of “cool” advertising. While many ad agencies and business corporations are trying to create the next viral hit or new immersive experience, others are content with keeping it simple. The advertising agency known as Forsman & Bodensfor from Sweden is changing the game by bucking the trend of “new & cool.” Instead, they like to change the advertising channels.
Having worked with big names like Uber, Volvo and H&M, the advertising agency knows that good marketing is all about being unique. In some ways, changing the game of advertising is unique in its own right. Unfortunately, most advertising campaigns are not effective if they are just innovative.
Therefore, F&B has demonstrated they are capable of being innovative and effective at the same time. Case in point, they turned Airbnb into its own advertising platform by listing Sweden as a possible place to rent and stay. Want an entire country to call your own for a weekend? Come to Sweden!
Many sportswear brands have pushed the boundaries of traditional advertising. In fact, many notable brands, including Adidas, introduced the very idea that advertising does not require a television or printed ad to be effective. “Lifestyle branding” came about as millions saw well-known athletes wearing athletic wear as everyday clothing.
While Adidas does not have the same punch as other brands like Nike, they have been doing some subtle but cool things in recent years with their marketing. In particular, the growing trend of wearable technology has become a new outlet for the company as it carves a niche in this new advertising space.
For example, Adidas is succeeding in the native advertising space more than other sports companies have in the past. The All Day app has become a popular fitness tracker and health resource that helps spread brand awareness while offering useful content to customers at the same time.
No discussion of game-changing companies would be complete without mentioning the one that has done more trendsetting in advertising than virtually anyone else. Going from an energy drink company to a worldwide brand that represents extreme thrill sports, Red Bull has done more than giving the world a catchy slogan.
More than anything else, the company brought advertising into the world of action sports. By sponsoring events, merchandise, athletes and more, the company has turned the experience into an advertisement. These days, they continue to bring a new action to sports and experiences while expanding the brand and product lines.
One innovative strategy that really stands out is Red Bull’s use of social media and new video technologies to bring the experience (and advertising) to people who aren’t there. By using things like 360-degree video cameras and live-streaming services, the company increases its audience numbers beyond the physical location limits. They also maintain one of the best social media platforms with outstanding, engaging content.