5 Bizarre Advertising Campaigns That Worked
Marketing is never an exact science, as you never know what will strike a chord with the customer. Some of the most bizarre marketing campaigns in recent memory have brought companies significant profits because they gained the attention of the general public. Although these advertising plans are risky, they can do a great deal of good for an organization if they hit the right notes with their target demographic.
1. Anti-Drug PSA
In 1987, a simple ad campaign was started by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. The television advertisement depicted a man holding up an egg and stating, “This is your brain,” before breaking the egg into a hot frying pan and saying, “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?”
Although this campaign was not bizarre in an outrageous type of way, the simple way in which it portrayed drug use makes it both strange and memorable. If the campaign keeps kids out of some of the top rehab centers in the country, it is well worth it. TV Guide also recognized the ad as one of the top 100 of all time because it is so bizarre, yet effective.
2. Blair Witch Project
An example of effective advertising in the motion picture industry comes from the 1999 movie the Blair Witch Project. The advertising campaign was meant to make viewers believe that the action was real, rather than a motion picture. The film was supposed to be missing footage that was recovered after the fact, which led to the film grossing $140.5 million in the United States alone.
This marketing idea was based on reality television, which was relatively new in 1999. This was the perfect time to release such a film and to market it as reality because of the success of shows like “Survivor.” Although this type of marketing would not work in the same manner today, the successful Paranormal Activity films have capitalized in a similar way.
3. Dos Equis
Labeled as the Most Interesting Man in the World, the main character from this Dos Equis beer campaign has become almost as loved as the beer itself. These advertisements are full of tall tales about this character that have nothing to do with the beer at all. Oddly enough, the company has seen a 22 percent increase in sales since these advertisements were released.
4. Terry Tate
The Terry Tate office linebacker series of commercials are successful, although probably for the wrong reasons. The main issue is that although many people remember the commercials, which featured a linebacker physically punishing office staff that did not follow the rules, very few people remember that these advertisements are associated with Reebok.
Obviously, Reebok had something special with these strange commercials, but they needed to do a better job of associating the character with their product.
5. Old Spice
In 2010, Old Spice started advertising to men through their significant others. The idea is that the advertisements, which feature a shirtless man with an athletic physique, spoke directly to women in an attempt to get them to purchase Old Spice products for the man in their life.
The campaign ended up going viral, receiving tens of millions of hits on YouTube and leading to a series of similar commercials, with each being more bizarre than the last.