Everyone remembers Budweisier’s ‘Wassup’, Apple’s ‘Mac or PC’, Marks and Spencers’ ‘This is M&S Food’ and of course Cadbury’s ‘Gorilla’ adverts, helping to strengthen already established brands. Memorable advertising can also turn a brand into a key part of culture – ever since John Lewis’ emotionally charged adverts entered the public consciousness, their Christmas adverts have been an eagerly awaited staple of the season, and a key part of their strategy.
Here are some of Sterling Media’s favorite advertising campaigns so far that are helping to redefine their respective brands this year.
KFC – Guys, we’re flattered
Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery, and this adage forms the basis of KFC’s bold new strategy. Featuring a slew of commonly seen chicken shops from across London and the UK (with names that often resemble KFC albeit with a different first letter), the print campaign ends with the tagline ‘Guys, we’re flattered’. Most people know exactly who these chicken shops are trying to emulate, and so the advertising campaign plays into this.
Following a difficult year for the brand following the chicken shortage scandal, the brand has avoided the pitfalls of traditional public relations-led reputation management and instead opted for a more tongue-in-cheek campaign.
HSBC – We are Not an Island
In the uncertain and politically charged culture that Brexit has created, some overtly political adverts have emerged including HSBC’s ‘We are not an Island campaign’.
Posters appeared across Britain proclaiming the international qualities of the people who live there and how they are part of something far, far bigger.
The controversial campaign immediately sparked a conversation, with some criticising it for appearing to be anti-Brexit whilst others applauded its bravery.
The British Army – Your Army Needs You
Adverts for armed forces have a tougher challenge than most. In the 21st century, the communication strategy for the modern armed forces must try to act as a recruitment drive in a society that has been largely against war since the conflicts in the Middle East, whilst also not appearing to be propaganda or glorifying warfare.
The Army’s brand strategy has shifted considerably since accusations that their campaigns were overly targeting vulnerable and underachieving 16-year olds upon leaving school. Following last year’s ‘This Is Belonging’ campaign aimed at highlighting inclusivity within the Army, this year’s campaign is aimed at subverting media stereotypes about ‘millennials’ and demonstrating how their perceived flaws are useful skills for the Army.
About Sterling Media:
Sterling Media is a global, business and strategic communication consultancy, founded in 1995 with a mission to drive innovation by bringing brands closer to their purpose in more meaningful ways. They represent corporates, consumer brands, charities, celebrities, countries, governments, global thought leaders and private clients, curating relevant and innovative communication strategies to address twenty-first century challenges.