What Does Successful Ad Campaigns Have in Common?

What do successful ad campaigns have in common
What do successful ad campaigns have in common

An advertising campaign is capable of capturing the public’s attention and generating conversations on the street is the dream of every marketing team. But what qualities do successful ad campaigns have that achieve this?

As CMO you may be thinking that there is little we can tell you that you do not know. However, it is worth reviewing what some of those advertising stories have in common that they managed to agree between professionals in the sector and end consumers.

The four keys to successful advertising campaigns

Although the success of an advertising campaign depends on many factors, there are a number of creative devices that simply work better than others, leading to more memorable advertising.

When we began to develop this post, the list of creative resources began to get too large, so we decided to opt for the four that we believe most effective, leaving the most important for last. Here are the secrets of successful ad campaigns:

Humor and surprise to improve the attitude towards the brand

We all know that humor improves the attitude towards a brand and makes its advertising better remembered, as we tell you in this post about the power of humor in advertising.

An advertisement that makes you laugh is discussed, shared and even becomes a sales pitch in itself, regardless of the benefits of the product or service it conveys.

Successful advertising campaigns based on humor there are hundreds. In our country, it is the formula used by advertisers such as Campofrío, Navidul or Fanta, although this time we have selected this spot launched a year ago by Uber in which we see that the combination of humor and surprise can be a wonderful narrative component.


Uber has created this ad with a touch of humor and surprise to launch a message of respect and tolerance in the world of football, remembering how essential it is that there is a good coexistence between the fans of any team, especially when it comes to a derby.

An insight to empathize with the target audience

The same thing happens in advertising as in the broken phone game: the message that you launch as a brand will not always be received by consumers as you expect. Therefore, another of the secrets of successful advertising campaigns is to see them “from the other side”. That is, putting yourself in the shoes of the consumers you want to impact.

For this it is necessary to be very clear about who your Buyer Personas are. Because as much as you may think that your audience is very broad and heterogeneous, your products or services are aimed at very specific people who need to solve specific problems. Putting yourself in their shoes is the best way to advertise effectively.

And once you know how they are, how they feel, how they make decisions… talk to your consumers by making them see that you really understand what is happening to them. How? Through an insight that, is one of the most effective resources to achieve campaigns successful advertising.

A brand that has always played to the limit with insights at Dollar Shave Club, an American company founded in 2011 that markets blades, razors and other men’s grooming products by mail order. In 2012, he began to make a series of videos on YouTube that soon became viral for showing situations of the daily grooming of men. From then on, everything went on a crescendo and the company was bought by Unilever for a trillion dollars in cash.

Here’s the spot released at the end of 2018 starring a group of men in their “intimate” moments. They are men of all ages and in all kinds of contexts, showing their complexes, their manias, their phobias … in the field of hygiene and personal care. They are situations with which many men surely feel identified when they manage to like themselves and others.

All this with a theatrical staging and accompanying music until the epic finale.


A comparative metaphor to facilitate the memory

If we have realized something during all these years as a creativity agency, it is that the “escomosi theory” is a guarantee of advertising effectiveness. In fact, it is the first point of the decalogue that you can download for free in the banner that you will see in the right sidebar or at the end of this post.

The “escomosi theory” comes to say that, when carrying out an advertising campaign, instead of falling into literal descriptions of how good a product or service is, it is better to resort to comparisons that help the public to get an idea mental of that goodness. In this way, consumers can form their own “photograph” of the advantages of the product or service, which will contribute to their memory.

In the aforementioned decalogue (here comes the spoiler) we put as an example a construction company that lowered the price of a housing development by 3,000 euros. You could advertise it like this in your advertising. Or you could say that your price reduction “is like giving two years of heating to a family of four.” A less literal but more effective and persuasive way to communicate a differential product advantage.

Well, among the successful and effective advertising campaigns of recent times we find many cases of creative strategies based on comparative metaphors that help to better understand and remember the central idea. Among all of them, we have chosen this graphic piece from the Norton antivirus brand, as it is a category of products whose advertising is more unknown to the public.

The graphic contains a copy that reinforces the comparative metaphor that is so brilliantly captured in the image, with great visual forcefulness as it is a computer keyboard turned into a grenade: “In the hands of a cybercriminal, your computer is a weapon.”

The ad responds 100% to the theory of “escomosi” because the advertising tells us that “without protection, a computer is like a weapon”, hence the need for an antivirus. The power of the image transmits much better what the customer loses (not what he gains) if he does not buy the product, remembering a problem and offering the solution in turn.

A central creative concept embodied in a brilliant idea

If the most successful advertising campaigns of all time have one thing in common, it is their ability to capture the creative core concept through a brilliant idea.

After a good advertising campaign, there is a good idea. It is the very essence of creativity, where the advertising magic really resides that ensures the effectiveness of a campaign, especially if it is executed in a surprising way and is well directed to its audience.

If today you carry out a search on the internet about which have been the best advertising campaigns, there is no list that does not contain one or two advertisements of the BMW brand, precisely because of that extraordinary ability that their creative agencies have had to find the brilliant idea with the translate the concept to be transmitted.

This is the case of the famous campaign that uses an interview with Bruce Lee. The phrase “Be water, my friend” will go down in history as the most original way to convey the adaptability of the new BMW X3 vehicle. The brand wanted to convey that this car model not only adapted to the road but also merged with it, like water when it flows and takes the shape of what it finds in its path.

The campaign was a critical and public success, becoming a true social phenomenon that made the famous Bruce Lee interview known around the world. The phrase in question became part of popular culture and all this resulted in a 25% increase in brand awareness and notoriety and a rise, according to the brand itself, of 73% in sales of this new SUV just recently. appeared on the market.


Nobody said it was easy and getting your advertising campaign to be valued by professionals, remembered by the public and a seller in the market requires a joint effort between the advertising brand and its creative agency.