Creative Marketing Campaign Ideas That Work

Posted at Jun 6, 2019 12:15:13 PM by Katie Weedman | Share

Creative marketing campaign ideas aren't happenstance -- at least, the worthwhile ones aren't. While creativity is often painted with a serendipitous brush, marketing takes strategy. The following strategies have been proven to get the creative juices flowing toward marketing campaign gold.


Creative Marketing Campaign Ideas | THAT Agency of Palm Beach County, Florida


1. Look at the Data

Analyzing data to spark creative marketing campaign ideas might seem counterintuitive, but the technique has proven successful time and again for the digital marketing team at THAT Agency.

Take, for example, Pacific Rim wines. The Riesling brand approached THAT Agency looking to build brand awareness. By thoughtfully examining the flavor profile of Pacific Rim's wines and doing a deep dive into the preferences of today's wine and alcoholic beverage consumers, the team at THAT identified a unique way to position Pacific Rim's Riesling:


Creative Marketing Campaign Ideas | THAT Agency of Palm Beach County, Florida


Educational social media ads demonstrating the utility of Riesling were served to target audiences encouraging consumers to swap Pacific Rim's Riesling wines for other popular alcoholic beverages and explore related recipe pairings.


Creative Marketing Campaign Ideas | THAT Agency of Palm Beach County, Florida


As a result, Pacific Rim wines saw 21 conversions and a 518% increase in web clicks in the first month alone, with subsequent months increasing by 51% and 21% respectively. During the three months the ad campaign has been in market, it has generated a total of 5,243 web clicks -- and the campaign continues to gain momentum heading into the summer months (a.k.a. prime barbecue season).




These ads are just one facet of a multichannel marketing campaign, but the point is -- data and creativity are not-so-strange bedfellows. Creative marketing campaign ideas often come from thoughtful data analysis.


2. Consider the Psychology

Understanding how basic needs influence human behavior can help you identify the factors motivating consumers to buy your products and services (or take related marketing actions like sharing a social media post or downloading an eBook).

When coming up with creative marketing campaign ideas, think about what people truly need to feel happy, healthy, complete, or fulfilled. An easy way to evaluate these motivations is to examine Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs:

creative-marketing-campaign-ideas-maslowMaslow's simple psychological theory consists of five motivational tiers that can be tapped to help persuade your target audience to take action.

For example, to tap into the first, most basic needs tier (physiological), a bottled water company could develop a marketing campaign around hurricane preparedness for a target audience located in coastal regions. When there's a hurricane coming, stores tend to run out of supplies like bottled water.

At the same time, the bottled water company could also tap into the human need for safety and security (tier two) during its hurricane preparedness marketing campaign, as the health and well-being of one's own family would also come into play.

FPL has several marketing communications with a similar message. Here's one that is particularly compelling:  




Granted, capitalizing on someone else's crisis is not ideal. However, with the right tone and positioning, FPL has become a trusted resource in the eyes of consumers.

Back to Maslow's hierarchy and the bottled water company, for a tier-three (love and belonging) focus, the company could spin its marketing message toward keeping local communities hydrated during hurricane season and beyond. This particular angle would especially work well if the company was committed to charitable disaster relief efforts.

In fact, the International Bottled Water Association has taken this route:



Returning to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, tiers four and five (self-esteem and self-actualization) are a bit more complex. To achieve these, Maslow believed a person must first master the previous tiers of needs.

For this type of marketing campaign, the example bottled water company could position its brand and products almost like Gatorade



Bonus: Nike's advertising is another good example of messaging in line with Maslow's higher tiers of needs:




3. Explore the Philosophy

In any piece of marketing, one of the most vital elements is a strong call to action. But what inspires people to take action?

When brainstorming creative marketing campaign ideas, consider Aristotle's seven causes of human action. In Rhetoric, Aristotle wrote that "every action must be due to one or other of seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reasoning, anger, or appetite."


  1. Chance - "The things that happen by chance are all those whose cause cannot be determined, that have no purpose, and that happen neither always nor usually nor in any fixed way." Chance events often inspire or force us to take action. For example, a car accident might force us to seek medical attention. 
  2. Nature - "Those things happen by nature which have a fixed and internal cause; they take place uniformly, either always or usually." Here Aristotle is referring to physiological forces like hunger, thirst, and procreation.
  3. Compulsion - "Those things happen through compulsion which take place contrary to the desire or reason of the doer, yet through his own agency." This irresistible urge to behave in a certain way speaks to acting on impulse as wells as a need for instant gratification -- something you can use as fuel for your creative marketing campaign ideas.
  4. Habit - "Habit, whether acquired by mere familiarity or by effort, belongs to the class of pleasant things, for there are many actions not naturally pleasant which men perform with pleasure, once they have become used to them." By establishing and continually meeting consumer expectations, you can create trust -- and trust leads to repetitive, or habitual, action.
  5. Reasoning - "Actions are due to reasoning when, in view of any of the goods already mentioned, they appear useful either as ends or as means to an end, and are performed for that reason." Aristotle also states that "rational craving is a craving for good, i.e., a wish -- nobody wishes for anything unless he thinks it good. Irrational craving is twofold, viz. anger and appetite." Reasoning ultimately speaks to the importance of understanding why consumers take action. What problems do your products and services solve? What consumer pain points do they alleviate or resolve?
  6. Anger - "To passion and anger are due all acts of revenge...no one grows angry with a person on whom there is no prospect of taking vengeance, and we feel comparatively little anger, or none at all, with those who are much our superiors in power." Aristotle adds that "angry people suffer extreme pain when they fail to get their revenge." Emotion of any kind is a powerful motivator. How can you appeal to the passionate emotions of your target audience? 
  7. Appetite - "Nor, again, is action due to wealth or poverty; it is of course true that poor men, being short of money, do have an appetite for it, and that rich men, being able to command needless pleasures, do have an appetite for such pleasures: but here, again, their actions will be due not to wealth or poverty but to appetite." Appetite is also desire. It's a feeling of want that you can nurture by listening to your target audience and responding with marketing messaging that portrays your products and services as capable of fulfilling their expressed desires.


Each of these seven causes drive people to act in different ways. By understanding what causes resonate the strongest with your target audience, you can better influence and motivate them to buy and/or take a desired marketing action.

However if, even after reading this article, you find yourself uninspired when it comes to generating creative marketing campaign ideas, don't fret. Contact the team at THAT Agency -- we can help you develop creative marketing campaigns that work.


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