Analyzing the 5 Best Ads & Their Key to Success

This article features the 5 best ads and analyzes the key factors for their success while providing tips for future ad creation.

The cover for Antavo’s Article about the best ads and masterful ad campaigns.
The cover for Antavo’s Article about the best ads and masterful ad campaigns.

A masterfully created ad campaign can capture the audience’s attention and stay in their minds for years to come. But with the emergence of new streaming services and on-demand television, advertisements can now be skipped over after just a few seconds. Therefore, you need to know all the best practices to prevent people from clicking through mindlessly. It is important to start by looking at the best ads from the past years and analyzing what factors made them so memorable and successful.

Here are some examples of great ads and what makes them work on an emotional, intellectual and actionable level:

1. Always: #LikeaGirl Ad Campaign

Always leveled up their advertising strategies by sending a powerful message to girls packed with self-confidence and empowerment. #LikeaGirl was launched in 2014 and it targeted girls at a pivotal age at the time they begin to use deodorant and become grown women. Always’ brand values women and wanted to change the insult of ‘you throw like a girl’ into an empowering statement for girls to hold onto.

Image of Always’ advertisement for their campaign showing 3 different images of how to lead, throw, and swing #LikeaGirl.
The #LikeaGirl campaign allowed girls to engage with different empowering and powerful messages to help them realize that doing something #LikeaGirl is actually a good thing instead of a statement to be used negatively.

What Makes #LikeaGirl One of The Best Ad Campaigns?

Although this ad was released in 2014 and became viral during the 2015 Super Bowl, it has remained relevant today. It is one thing to simply sell women’s products and advertise the benefits of their deodorant and other services, but it is another to take it a step further and show how important it is for girls to foster self-confidence from a young age.

Research on psychographics has proved that it is very compelling for customers to share similar values with the brands that they purchase from. Always created a masterful advertisement campaign that fostered brand loyalty with their customers by being open about what is important to them and allowing the customers to experience what it means to do something #LikeaGirl.

3 Factor Analysis

  • Emotional Capture: The #LikeaGirl campaign acknowledges some of the obstacles that young women face when entering adulthood and appeals to their emotions during this vulnerable time.
  • Intellectual Capture: Intellectually, it is a known issue in society that an insult to young boys is that they do something #LikeaGirl. That stereotype has slowly been broken down throughout time and this advertisement campaign helped accomplish this.
  • Actionable Capture: Additionally, this campaign was successful because of its clear call to action. Customers understood the message that Always presented and they were called to action. Not only by buying the products, but also by initiating a change in their own lives to start doing things #LikeaGirl proudly.

2. Heinz: Ketchup Ad Campaign

Heinz is the number one ketchup company in the world and it maintains this status with the help of various advertising campaigns. Most importantly, Heinz wants its customers to trust their product by using the slogan “Grown, not made.” The company has faced some backlash about being unhealthy with high amounts of sugar in their products. To combat this, Heinz released many versions of advertisements that all portray a similar message conveying their focus on natural ingredients with no artificial preservatives.

 Image of the Heinz ketchup bottle cut into tomato-shaped slices to show the naturalness of their product.
Heinz depicts their product through advertisements as a unique and all-natural ketchup straight from the tomatoes they grow. This strategy was put in place to attract customers who want high-quality products and to reassure existing customers that the products are top of the line.

How Does Heinz Design Their Advertisements So Effectively?

The emphasis on the color red does two things. Firstly, it associates ketchup with the color red which is an eye-catching and powerful color that draws customers’ attention to the advertisement. Second, the red color is associated with being hunger-inspiring and appetizing which further promotes the customers’ interest in the product. Heinz then goes a step further and slices the ketchup bottle into slices that look like the real tomatoes used to go into the ketchup making the customers associate the ketchup with freshly cut tomatoes. This ad appeals to customers who care about the freshness and natural ingredients that go into their food.

3 Factor Analysis

  • Emotional Capture: The “No one grows Ketchup like Heinz” campaign effectively appeals to the emotions of customers by using the color red to put the Heinz bottle in a position of power while also inspiring hunger and passion towards the product.
  • Intellectual Capture: Intellectually, using the tomato slices to build up the ketchup bottle appeals to customers because it is telling the story of exactly what goes into the product and why Heinz is a better and healthier choice than other ketchup brands.
  • Actionable Capture: The call to action that this advertisement holds is that the statement that no one grows Ketchup like Heinz calls customers to want to buy their product because no other brand grows natural products like they do.

3. Coca-Cola: Share a Coke Ad Campaign

Coca-Cola’s #ShareaCoke Ad Campaign was one of the most successful campaigns of all time. This campaign acknowledged the importance of the customer experience and incorporated it into their experiential marketing strategy. This campaign personalized the shopping experience and made customers excited about the product. The purchasing experience came to life as customers were able to add meaning to each purchase when thinking about sharing a coke with a loved one.

Image of 3 coke bottles with holiday-oriented names on them as part of the Share a Coke campaign during the holidays.
The #ShareaCoke campaign continued on during the holiday season which has alway been a big focus in Coca-Cola’s advertisements. The holiday season evokes a lot of emotions in customers and the combination with sharing a coke with a loved one was an unstoppable way to generate excitement about purchases.

The Impact of The #ShareaCoke Ad Campaign:

This campaign resulted in about 25 million new Facebook followers and more than 500,000 images circulated with the hashtag #ShareaCoke in just the first year of its release. This social media presence helped boost sales and media circulation more than ever before. This campaign was so successful for many reasons. One factor being that it was so unique. This level of personalization had never been done before and it allowed the Coca-Cola brand to stand out even more.

3 Factor Analysis

  • Emotional Capture: One of the main reasons why this ad campaign was so successful is because of the way it makes customers feel when purchasing the product. This emotional capture of this campaign encouraged customers to have a positive emotional experience and lead it to being one of the best ad campaigns.
  • Intellectual Capture: The #ShareaCoke campaign also intellectually captured customers because it gives them a purpose behind buying the product instead of just making a mindless purchase.
  • Actionable Capture: This advertisement also holds a clear call to action which is crucial for success. Customers are called to purchase a Coca Cola bottle with their name on it or with a friend or family member’s name on it and share a meaningful experience with one another.

4. Absolut Vodka: The Absolut Bottle

Absolut created one of the most successful ad campaigns that featured print advertisements that showed their bottles ‘in the wild.’ This idea gained so much popularity that it ran for more than 25 years and is the longest uninterrupted ad campaign ever. Absolut released over 1,500 prints of various countries and states with the absolut vodka bottle incorporated into the image.

Various images of the absolut bottle discreetly placed into various scenes from different places around the world.
Absolut Vodka Bottles in the Wild ad campaign was hugely successful worldwide. The innovation of depicting their bottle shape into different prints attracted customers from all over the world and allowed them to gain popularity.

See How You Can Use Absolut’s Advertising Strategies For Your Own Company’s Success:

This is a perfect example of a masterful advertising campaign to look up to when beginning to brainstorm for your own. This campaign integrates the shape of the vodka bottle into popular countries, cities, and states around the  world. As mentioned in our experiential marketing article, personalization is a key factor in an advertisement’s success and this campaign incorporates  that perfectly.

3 Factor Analysis

  • Emotional Capture: The emotional capture that the Bottles in The Wild ad campaign has is the ability to create nostalgic feelings for their customers towards the place they are from or the place they may have fond memories from visiting.
  • Intellectual Capture: Intellectually, this campaign plays on the fact that it makes absolut vodka relevant in any place in the world, it can fit in anywhere and make sense.
  • Actionable Capture: The call to action in these ad campaigns is to buy the vodka and appreciate the place you are in and how the bottle fits into the location.

5. Nike: Just Do It Ad Campaign

The Nike “Just Do It” ad campaign is one of the most recognizable advertisements in the world. The slogan “Just Do It” has remained popular throughout the years all over the world. This slogan has been put onto a plethora of different backgrounds sharing different inspirational stories and messages.

Image of olympian Simon Biles during a gymnastics tournament with an inspiring message attached.
Nike pictures Olympian Simone Biles in an inspirational way showing that if you #JustDoIt, anything is possible.

A Way To Inspire Your Customers

Nike uses the “Just Do It” slogan to inspire their customers to be the best versions of themselves and to ‘just do’ whatever they might be hesitant to do. Nike is one of the highest profile athletic brands in the world and this ad campaign has helped lead to their success. Nike takes their marketing a step further by featuring personal stories from athletes and customers about their past stories of success when they followed the ‘Just Do It’ principle and overcame or accomplished something they never thought was possible. These messages inspire their customers to live the lifestyle that Nike promotes. It’s more than a brand selling products, they are selling a way of life.

3 Factor Analysis

  • Emotional Capture: The Just Do It ad campaign strongly appeals to customers emotions by sharing an inspirational story or image that portrays someone who accomplished something they never thought possible.
  • Intellectual Capture: The Just Do It ad campaign also appeals to the intellectuals who want proof of how a simple action can lead to big life changes and Nike provides proof of how this lifestyle can be rewarding.
  • Actionable Capture: This campaign carries a clear call to action, it is the message that if you set your mind to something then you can be successful and even change your life or the lives around you for the better.

Step Up Your Future Advertisement Strategies Using Our Analysis of the Past

Past success stories of advertisement campaigns provide a solid foundation for the creation of your own, unique advertising strategies. There is no clear path to creating masterful advertisements but analyzing other effective ads provides a clear starting point. By looking at just the 5 best ads that we analyzed in this article, it is evident that the brand must have a good understanding of their customers in order to provide impactfulmessages that convey their values along with personalized messages to make their customers feel heard and appreciated.

And if you wish to learn more about how you can include some of these advertising strategies in a loyalty program, our loyalty experts here at Antavo can help you with that. Just send us an RFP or book a demo today.

And don’t forget to download Antavo’s Global Customer Loyalty Report 2022, an in-depth report that showcases current and future industry trends to help you navigate the world of next-gen loyalty programs.

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Headshot of Lilias Madden,

Lilias Madden

Lilias is a truly enthusiastic copywriter when it comes to researching customer behavior and marketing psychology. She has experience in communications and psychology with a growing interest in data analytics and marketing. Lilias enjoys cooking, reading, and playing tennis.

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