Consumers don’t like ads, plain and simple. Netflix, TiVo, and ad blocker extensions all leverage the promise of no ads to lure consumers to their products. But every now and then, brands put together a masterclass in advertisement that people love. Whether it’s a Super Bowl commercial, a great spokesman, or a political stance, every year sees a few rare campaigns that capture the hearts and attention of consumers across the globe.
We wanted to look back at some of the biggest campaigns of 2018 and measure how successful they were online with consumers. By tracking the conversation volume, consumer perception of the campaign, longevity of the conversation, and the audience demographics of those talking about it, we defined the top campaigns of 2018.
Tourism Australia left consumers wanting more with their movie trailer that never was. The organization hired Aussie Chris Hemsworth to film a trailer for a Crocodile Dundee movie that consumers viewing all wish was real. The campaign was one of the most beloved campaigns of 2018, with over 80% positive conversation. Although the ad didn’t generate as much conversation as other campaigns, the sheer positivity makes this the 10th best ad of 2018. Now only if they could actually go through with it and make the damn movie.
Swedish based Libresse revolutionized the way companies advertise feminine-hygiene products. Their ad “Viva la Vulva” celebrated vaginal pride by challenging stigmas behind periods through openness and getting rid of genital-shaming. Showing blood in red? Revolutionary. The ad generated tens of thousands of posts and was one of the more long-lasting ads, with conversation lasting 20 days after the ad premiered (very long, in social-media time).
One of the best ads to come out of the 2018 Super Bowl, Chris Frat, I mean Pratt, was probably the best spokesman Michelob Ultra could’ve pulled for a major ad campaign. Chris Pratt has been one of the “it” stars this year, he’s starred in multiple blockbusters, and has a funny-dad persona that everyone loves. Hiring a guy anyone would kill to share a beer with, Michelob had the second most beloved ad of 2018, with 92% positive conversation.
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Two ads for the price of one, Doritos and Mountain Dew paired together to sing a song of ice and fire promoting Doritos Blaze and Mountain Dew Ice. PepsiCo managed to score a major win by advertising two brands in one ad. This is hard to pull off without one brand overshadowing the other. The company pitted Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage and star of everything Morgan Freeman against each other in a lip-synced rap battle in one of the year’s more ridiculous campaigns. Consumers loved it, ranking third in positive conversation, 91%, but not generating quite as much buzz as the others. The ad comes in at #7 for 2018.
#6: It’s a Tide Ad
Tide had some fun with their Super Bowl ad in 2018 by mimicking other notable ads. By playing into stereotypes of other industry commercials, like auto or beer brands, or tapping some of the stars of other companies, like Isaiah Mustafa of Old Spice, Tide created marketing magic by making fun of advertising itself. Consumers got a lot of laughs out of it as it was third longest-lasting ad in 2018, with conversation lasting almost a month after airing as well as generating the fifth most conversation. Not everyone loved it though, with only 76% positive conversation.
One of the most polarizing campaigns of 2018, Nike sent shockwaves in every corner of culture this summer when they launched their campaign with ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The Nike ad was the second most discussed campaign of the year and the conversation about it is still ongoing. By taking a political stance, Nike ran the risk of ostracizing some of their market base. But Nike clearly wanted to take a side in the take a knee debate to show that their company believes in something. Although it is probably the most memorable campaign of 2018, it comes in at #5 as it was also the most divisive. Read more about the powerful ad, and why Nike had a resounding success despite the negativity, here.
Groupon utilized accidental-influencer Tiffany Haddish in this next level influencer marketing campaign. Haddish famously talked about inviting Will and Jada Pinkett Smith to a Groupon tour in New Orleans on a late night talk show. Groupon utilized this funny story by hiring Tiffany to star in their commercial for a finally-believable “this celebrity actually uses our product” campaign. While it wasn’t as discussed as other ads, it attracted a young audience that discussed the ad for a long time (and positively), and comes in at #4 in 2018.
Bud Light caught fire with their Dilly Dilly series of advertisements that debuted at the 2018 Super Bowl. Across the country, consumers slur-shouted “Dilly Dilly!” to each other at crowded bars after the nonsensical ad sparked the trend. It was the third most discussed ad of the year, but conversation is still ongoing over 300 days later. The beloved ad not only created brand awareness upon airing, but creates recurring awareness every time a fool at a bar drunkenly shouts out “Dilly Dilly” into their blacked out oblivion.
Finally, the top campaign of 2018 goes to Amazon’s Alexa loses her voice campaign. The campaign featured lovable stars Rebel Wilson, Cardi B, and Anthony Hopkins in one of the most creative ads of recent memory. Celebrities took to the phones to answer the questions Amazon consumers asked Alexa. Comical, creative, and star-studded, the ad was the most beloved ad of 2018, at 98% positive conversation. The ad also attracted the youngest audience with over 80% being under 25. Amazon’s masterclass in advertising reigns as the best campaign, according to online metrics, of 2018.
For more information on campaign performance, download our guide: Measuring Campaign ROI With Social Media Analytics