We’ve spoken before about what makes a successful marketing campaign but Today we’re honing in on one tip in particular. Thinking outside the box. It’s not always easy to come up with something totally new and fresh, so here are some creative marketing ideas that other companies have successfully pulled off before. Copying other ideas will do more harm than good, so think of these as jumping off points to get you thinking outside the box on your own campaigns!

Create a Series

Most advertisements consist of one video outlining a product, that may be trimmed into different cuts for different channels. Some companies have begun to use multiple different commercials that are linked together as one larger story. Naturally, this is a bigger undertaking and may be affected by budget requirements, but If done right it can prove incredibly effective. If you have people invested in a wider story, they may start to look forward to seeing other advertisements for your product. One example of this in practice comes from the folks at Bud Light. Their commercials include a partnership with the HBO show Game of Thrones and their “Up for Whatever” Campaign. The Game of Thrones Super Bowl spot (to the right) saw the murder of their long standing Bud Light mascot, the Bug Light Knight, who had been introduced in previous advertisements. Setting up characters and storylines across multiple adverts allowed them to play with their brand in a way which stood out to viewers.

User Generated Content

Getting your customers involved in the creative process can actually be an incredibly successful way of driving engagement. You could ask your existing audience to send in content like pictures, videos or product ideas and concepts. Not only does this create a dialogue between brands and consumers, it also appeals to wider audiences that aren't already a part of that conversation. Seeing work that feels collaborative with the public breaks down the wall between brand and consumer in an interesting way. One of the most successful of these campaigns was Walkers' "Do Us a Flavour" campaign. This encouraged people to send in flavour ideas for a prize.

The obvious benefits of customer interaction aside, turning these ideas into adverts of their own helped engage viewers with the quirky and often surreal flavours. Another brilliant example from the past year was Amazon’s user-generated Christmas horror film, which is a must watch if you haven’t already seen it….

No Talking

One way of approaching ideas is to take away a key element and see how that limitation can force you outside of the box. For example: dialogue. What happens when you take all forms of dialogue or speech out of a video. What stories can you tell on a purely visual basis? This was the thinking behind a lot Apple's recent advertisements. Apple have a shown an appreciation for how music is used to evoke emotion and to tell a story - and to great effect. From their old silhouette iPod ads to recently showing off their new phones. It can often be creatively liberating to see what information you can convey through visuals and sound alone, and for viewers it can be fresh and exciting too.

These are just some of the ways that companies have tried new methods of advertising. By being creative and trying out new things within the medium of video, they successfully created fresh and exciting content that hooked viewers. Ultimately, marketing is all about engagement. By thinking outside the box, you’re more likely to give viewers a reason to stop and watch. Use these ideas as a springboard and see what new ideas you can come up with. The most exciting and terrifying thing about viral ads are that they are impossible to predict. Get those creative juices flowing, and who knows? Maybe we’ll be talking about your creative marketing ideas next year!

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