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The Best Ad Campaigns of 2017 and What They Teach Us About Content Marketing

This year we are concluding in a few days has made interactive ads quite popular. Marketers wanted to bring the ads into your home or into your life in real time. They broke down the fourth wall and entered homes and lives to immerse viewers even deeper in the ad.

Here are a few of the ads that really worked this year and the lessons every marketer should learn from their success.

Photograph by  stokkete via

Burger King Whopper

For example, The Burger King ad that says “OK Google, what is the Whopper burger”. This simple phrase is supposed to interact with the Google assistant that people have in their homes, and this device will then proceed to read off the definition of a Whopper burger from their Wikipedia page.

Image via Burger King

This kind of advertising shows how content creators aren’t staying within the box of your phone or television; they are trying to break through to infiltrate more of your life in real time. While many may find this kind of advertising annoying, it also brings about the question of how far will advertisers go to get you involved in the ad?

Fearless Girl

Another interactive advertisement was the “fearless girl” or the statue of the girl who was placed in front of the bull on Wall Street. This ad was created for State Street Global Advisors to celebrate International Women’s Day in 2017.

The “fearless girl” became a social media phenomenon and was posted and tagged for many days around International Women’s day. It also started a conversation about women in the workplace.

Although this kind of advertisement didn’t directly occur while someone was watching the ad, many people were able to visit the statute and pose with the little girl to show their support.

Virtual Reality Advertisements

Virtual reality or VR is an up and coming platform for advertisements. An ad for Ted Baker created as a movie in VR where users are able to see a 360-degree view of the movie where they can follow along with the plot while also experience the movie as if they were there. Although not everyone is familiar with VR and VR is still relatively new to have in households, it’s still becoming an expanding platform for ads to continue to integrate themselves into our lives.

These kinds of ads will continue to grow in content marketing in 2018. With company’s wanting to try to fit their way into consumer’s lives, they will use technology or other real-life encounters to help bridge the gap between commercials on television and your daily life.

Emotional Ads

Ads that appeal to your emotions are not new but have continued to grow in 2017 and looking ahead to content marketing in 2018, these emotional pleas in ads will still continue to grow.

The New York Times

Simply stated, the New York Times commercial is thirty seconds long and simply has a voiceover and sentences appearing across the screen. It expresses the need for the truth in the media and journalism. The title of the ad is “The Truth is Hard to Find”, and the New York Times wants people to realize where to find accurate information – the New York Times.

Audi – Daughter

An ad for Audi, which was aired during the Superbowl, showed a young girl racing in a box car race against a number of young boys. The voice over is the father asking if he is supposed to tell his daughter that his grandfather is worth more than his grandmother or her mother is worth more than him because of the pay gap.  The ad ends with “Audi of America is committed to equal pay for equal work.”

These ads that stir up emotion allow us to connect with the brand on a deeper level. We all either are or know a female, whether that be our mothers, daughters, sisters or friends so we can connect with this ad.

Opinion Based Ads

Creating ads that make a statement or voice an opinion has become a very tricky way to go around advertising your product. In some cases, these ads have been wildly successful, in other cases, like Pepsi’s ad that featured Kendall Jenner, they can create backlash that can tarnish a brand. Especially with a bad advertisement spreading quickly on social media, content marketers in 2018 will need to continue to watch the line between inappropriate and powerful.

Heineken – Worlds Apart Ad

One advertisement that worked very well was the Heineken ad that brought strangers into an experiment that had opposing views on hot topics such as climate change or feminism. They then allowed them to work together and get to know each other before showing the team how opposing their views are. The main goal of this ad was that “more unites us than separates us.”

The success of this ad was that it didn’t necessarily say what was wrong or what was right but had people come together and talk about their differences over a bottle of Heineken beer.

84 Lumber

This ad was a standout in the commercials that aired during the Superbowl. The reason being this company made a profound statement about immigration in their ad. They showed a mother and daughter leaving their home as they walked through bad weather and many different types of terrain. The story also shows construction workers building something.

The mother and daughter are then stopped by a large wall but then they find a wooden door which they open into America. The tag line reads “The will to succeed is always welcome here.” And we are able to conclude that the construction workers were building the door.

Both emotional and expressing an opinion on a large political debate, this company was able to support immigration without directly coming out and saying it. They also didn’t make the focus of their ad on their company while also trying to include a cultural statement as that may look poorly on their brand. Rather, they made the focal point of the ad about the mother and daughter’s story.

Content marketing in 2018 will continue to take stances on hot topics, especially in this political and cultural climate. In order to navigate this next year of advertisement campaigns and content creation you will want the help of professionals so your content keeps up with current trends without being an ad that goes viral for all the wrong reasons. Iris Content is able to help with your content creation needs and will make sure to keep your content on the cutting edge while also making sure to keep up with the current climate.

Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

If you need a professional to handle all your content during the hectic festive season, Iris Content is launching a few holiday packages that you can take advantage of. Reach out to us and we will help your business shine this holiday season!

Contact Annie to learn how you can take advantage of our holiday packages.

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