Campaigns That Start Conversations

Our latest blog comes courtesy of Amelia Gresham, a recent University of Lincoln graduate who spent a week with us on work experience. Here Amelia shares her favourite mind-bending marketing campaigns that really get tongues wagging…

At this moment in time, marketing is the forefront of consumer culture. All over the world, brands are taking advantage of the immediate reach that technology and social media has provided us in order to continuously communicate with their audiences.

There is no doubt that information spreads fast these days. One click of a button, and all of a sudden, your Instagram post has thousands of shares and millions of likes, and the way companies are using this to speak to the market place and create profit is undeniably revolutionary. But what about the campaigns that don’t aim to drive sales? What about the revolutionary ways that brands are using this advantage to fight for a cause, and only the cause?

For me, the best thing about clever marketing campaigns are the ones that spark a reaction. The ones that make you stop and actually process what’s been put in front of you and the reasons behind it. The ones that focus on issues being continuously ignored by half the population, and push us to spread the idea and start a conversation about them.

Here are some of my favourites:

1. Watch out for #ladyholes

    One campaign that sparked media attention was #ladyhole by Peperami, in an attempt to challenge gender equality.

    They noticed how 413 words in the English language start with ‘man’ and only 20 start with ‘lady’, and so to close this gender gap in words, they took to the streets of London and renamed every manhole ‘ladyhole’ with the accompanying hashtag. The campaign came to life on April Fool’s day in 2019 and so Londoners had no excuse not to expect Peperami’s Mascot ‘Animal’ causing havoc at each ‘ladyhole’ around the city.

    It was a funny and highly disruptive campaign, which is always guaranteed to gain impressions from all kinds of people, and although deemed as an April fools prank, the small campaign aimed to shed light on a much bigger issue.

    2. Put Down your Balenciaga.

    More recently, London Zoo has come out with a hard-hitting message to promote the consequences of humans on endangered species.

    The campaign involves the inclusion of a handbag displayed in the crocodile enclosure of the zoo, focusing on the ways animals are hunted and killed for their skin as part of the illegal wildlife trade. The bag is presented behind the glass as if it were an animal in its past life, with a sign highlighting the conservation status of Siamese crocodiles, and a description that reads ‘this bag used to be found swimming in slow-moving rivers and streams across Southeast Asia and Indonesia’.

    It is easy to say that when you’re visiting a zoo, you become hyper-focused on the animals that you can see behind the glass and what they’re doing, whilst ignoring the reality that they may no longer be there in 10 years. This campaign ensures that visitors are reminded of the devastating fate of animals as a result of human action, by forcing the brutal message upon them and drawing out emotional responses.