7 brands whose marketing teams need a payrise

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There comes a time in every marketer’s life when they must decide whether to stick with the status quo and go through the motions, doing what’s expected from their industry… Or they can take a chance dare. Dare to be different, dare to mix things up and dare to push limits.

There are a few particularly daring brands who consistently try to overturn current marketing trends and they are always followed by copycat marketers. Sometimes breaking the mould works well, other times it totally flops.

Here are a few of the best examples.


No list discussing successful content marketing can fail to mention the renowned Oreo halftime tweet!

Just in case you didn’t know, Oreo jumped on real time events to promote themselves via social media instead of focussing solely on traditional methods of planning and budgeting a campaign weeks or months before it is delivered to the masses. And, although they did have regular adverts running through the beginning of the advertising slots, it’s fair to say they made their biggest impact through Twitter.

This was smart marketing. They understood that watching television is now very much a multiscreen experience and they must grasp their audience’s attention on all levels.

We see this time and time again: brands interlinking their campaigns across platforms and keeping their audience as connected as possible.

Snickers is another brand that saw success with this method:

Snickers took a leaf out of Oreo’s book one year on during the World Cup game between Uruguay and Italy. They, amongst other brands, made light of what we’ll call “the biting incident” between Suarez and Chiellini. Snickers’ tweet prevails as their pre-existing tagline makes theirs the most fitting of the lot… It’s true, ‘you’re not you when you’re hungry.’

This tweet saw huge engagement and really got people talking online.


There has always been a fad for things with our names on. Yes, I’m talking to you girls of the 90’s who had a headband for every day of the week stating your name in glitter glue, probably with a selection of matching pens.

In 2011, Coca-Cola launched their “Share a Coke” campaign in Australia, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2014 when the campaign hit the U.S that they really saw the return on investment. According to Wall Street Journal this is the first time in more than a decade that the corporation saw a growth in sales. And all because they put names on their bottles.

So it was no surprise when we suddenly saw names popping up all over anything and everything (without a trip to Blackpool’s souvenir shops).

Nutella was just one of the big brands to cash in on the idea. Once they’d paired up with Selfridges in the winter of 2014 there were people all over the country who were especially delighted to wake up to Nutella. It’s reported people even queued up for up to 4 hours to get their hands on one.

Brands recognised and targeted our new found fondness of sharing. And they still do. (tweet this)

Personalised products became the ultimate Instagram post during their height in sales. People genuinely wanted to go out and buy these products, for themselves, for their loved ones and to share the purchase with their social network – a perfect way to encourage your everyday consumers to become brand ambassadors in their own social circles.

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Instagram: mandimitchellphoto

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The Cadbury’s ad everyone remembers was one of the first of its kind.

I refuse to believe that you can hear this song nearly a decade on without this famous ad crossing your mind.

Cadbury’s changed the game with their advert which appeared to have no relevancy to their brand, let alone any of their confectionary. The ad was originally rejected by Phil Rumbol, director of marketing at Cadbury at the time, but the decision to air it saw sweet success for the brand with it going on to win the highest honours at the 2008 Cannes Lion event.

This lead to a long line of adverts from the brand designed to make you feel good, rather than reach for your purse; they created something worth remembering.

This format has been replicated countless times since, although my favourite example has to be the “You’re so MoneySupermarket” campaign which features dance off’s between a builder, a businessman and a bodyguard. The site has even gone on to make an interactive map which gives users the opportunity to see the most popular two of the trio, Dave and Colin strut their stuff in any location they please, making this much more than a silly tv advert.


Now to controversial marketing, and who does it better – or should I say worse? – than Paddy Power?

The infamous Irish bookmaker has been ruffling feathers since offering bets on the first species to be driven to extinction resulting the BP oil spill in Mexico. Paddy Power seems to love nothing more than being in the news for all the wrong reasons.

And it appears they won’t be giving up this method any time soon. They have become the kings of trolling and they consistently push up against the boundaries of the marketing sector.

They’re fully aware that what they’re putting out will result in outrage and upset, but they do it anyway. The snowball effect of bigger and more controversial marketing campaigns is leading Paddy Power’s marketing team onwards and upwards. They must continually ask themselves, ‘why stop now?’

Have a look at some of their most callous campaigns:


The Telegraph


Amanda Cobb


With 602K followers, Paddy Power have a larger Twitter following than competitors Betfair, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Betfred combined.

It’s clear to see that though you can guarantee the complaints will come rolling in with every toe curling campaign, there is an audience out there who really respond and love their tongue in cheek approach to keeping in the public eye.

They truly play on the age old saying that “All publicity, is good publicity”.

Their website states:

“We have, love, and openly talk about our mischief department (yep, it does what it says); and we have well over 1 million fans following us daily on social media.

In 2013, we won 40 awards for our marketing, frequently being shortlisted in the company of brands such as Nike, O2, John Lewis and Adidas, and often coming out on top. The fact that we’ve been voted Britain’s most admired company for marketing, won The Marketing Society’s campaign of the year and been voted one of the top 10 brands to follow on Twitter […] to name a few, suggests we must be doing the odd thing right”

And so it would seem there is method in the madness. In fact, I’m finding it near impossible to find a brand who cause scandal quite like Paddy Power, and so I ask… What’s your opinion on Paddy Powers marketing strategy?

You can leave your opinion in our comment section below!


See the results of our Twitter poll here:

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About Leah Bradburn

​Leah is a connoisseur of all things cheese; this includes the Biebs, 1D, Westlife, Little Mix and cheddar. She can often be found in her 'ugly work cardigan'​ and pretending she's going to go to the gym. Leah's favourite film is a mix up between Avatar and Wreck It Ralph.

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