I love the smell of tech in the morning.
Tech is many things, an ever shifting chimaera of a multitude of disciplines.
But there’s one thing you can’t accuse tech of being.
And that’s boring.
Well fine, you definitely can, but you’d mostly be wrong.
I believe that tech genuinely has the potential to change the world for the better, but to do that, it has to connect with people.
And what better way to connect with people than through good ol fashioned advertising (says the tech marketer, like a fox submitting an application for the role of “chicken-protector”).
Some ads are better than others however, and I consider myself the truffle hunting pig of the tech marketing world, so let’s peruse the delicacies that I have procured.
What I am trying to say is let’s look at the best tech ads, I don’t know why I’m being weird either, I didn’t sleep much last night.
Like your grandad saying something untoward in public at the most inopportune time, you knew this one was coming.
Apple’s 1984 advert might be the most famous advert in the world, right after the Go Compare ads, but it comes out on top as it doesn’t want to make you commit a felony.
It’s such an eponymous piece of work that almost 30 years later, amateur tech writers are still using the wrong words to describe its glory.
I mean, it was directed by Ridley Scott for Christ’s sake, it’s definitely got to be the best tech marketing campaign, but it’s not even Apple’s only appearance on this list.
Your grammar doesn’t have to be perfect to create a great advert. Well, as long as you're Steve Jobs.
Apple’s slogan during their Miami Heat Lebron style run during the late 90s and early 2000s was simple:
Widely acknowledged to be a response to IBM’s “think” mantra, it embodies the countercultural ethos that Apple were known for.
It was also accompanied in the video adverts by the following narration:
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Cars are tech! Stop yelling and put the pitchforks down!
Okay, I’m sliding this one under the gate like a nerdy Indiana Jones, but Volvo absolutely crushed their SuperBowl strategy so much that you might have to call them the Tom Brady of advertising (I hate myself).
The way it worked was this: every time you saw a different car advert during the SuperBowl (bare in mind these car adverts cost millions of dollars), you could tweet at Volvo to potentially secure yourself a sweet free car.
By doing this, they guaranteed that everyone ignored their competitors' ads (again, these ads cost millions and millions of dollars), and instead headed straight to Twitter for a bit of healthy brand engagement.
Unbelievable showing, bravo Volvo.
Samsung took a big swing here, and I have to say, when I first saw that in the cinema, it caused a wry smile from myself, which thus caused the people next to me to move away, giving me extra room for my inordinate amount of snacks, so bonus points.
Look, it’s tough being a brand competing with another brand that is so popular that people make their dating choices based on whether they own it or not.
When your main competitor has the “cool” factor, you have to do the equivalent of a nuclear strike back.
Insinuating their users are like a hive mind from a horror movie certainly fits that bill, and it’s fun to see Samsung embracing the underdog, countercultural and humorous spirit that Apple did when they released the 1984 advert.
Keep it up Samsung! And stop reading my blog Samsung! There’s way more important things you could be doing! Like giving me free stuff!
Pulled a sneaky on ya, but yes, I hate to break it to you, Spotify Wrapped is 100% a marketing campaign, and probably one of the most successful ones ever at that.
By utilising the data they have, Spotify can make it feel like you’re a special little bean who only listens to the coolest music, thereby increasing the likelihood of you sharing the results to your social media, resulting in free organic reach for the beloved Swedish juggernaut.
Another side effect of this genius ploy (we don’t use the word ploy enough as a species) is that it vilified other streaming services, and made it feel like Spotify knew their user better, and even when services like Apple and Amazon did release their own version, they seemed like knockoffs and were “uncool” which is something you cannot buy when it comes to advertising (trust me, I’ve tried).
Who doesn’t love a love story!
Google’s advertising can get a bit of a bad rep sometimes, but I am a big fan and the Parisian Love campaign is their greatest work.
Harkening back to the heady days of 2010, the Parisian Love campaign tells a love story with just a basic input bar and a few words that will have a grown man crying in his soup.
It’s also a sneakily good way to highlight exactly why and how your product works, without just having someone stand in front of a camera and say what they use your product for, I’m looking at you FitBit with your “stories”, send me free stuff though!
I love Sony’s old Playstation adverts so so so much.
I have no idea what is going on in about 90% of them, but they really took the idea of “no bad suggestions” and ran with it.
From overdoses, to adultery and weird alien face girls creepily laughing at the camera, it was like the Sony annual company retreat was to Aphex Twin’s central cortex.
The console wars in general during this time produced some amazing acts of just utterly insane marketing, but Sony really took the biscuit. It worked so effectively that despite being a lifelong Xbox nerd, I have a PlayStation jumper that I bought purely out of respect for their marketing in the 90’s.
And there we have it, 7 marketing campaigns that make you go “oh that’s clever” or “huh very good”. Anything you think I missed? Still annoyed that I included a car advert in the list? Let me know in the comments below!