8 Exceptional Brand Activations Examples That Inspired the Masses

brand activations

Have you ever noticed those campaigns that make you go, “Whoa, that’s awesome!”? Well, you’re about to dive into exactly that – the world of brand activations. It’s not just about selling stuff anymore – it’s about creating experiences that stay with you.

Brands constantly strive to find new & innovative ways to connect with their target audience. Brand activation is an essential tool a brand uses to achieve this goal, as it allows them to create memorable experiences that resonate with consumers on an emotional level.

So, in this article, JR Promotions will assist you in exploring eight exceptional examples of brand activations that have inspired the masses. These activations showcase the power of creativity, innovation, and storytelling to create lasting brand impact.

Key takeaways:

  • Brand activations are a highly influential tool for connecting with consumers and creating lasting brand impact.
  • Successful brand activations are creative, relevant, emotional, and impactful.
  • Brands should take risks and push boundaries to create exceptional brand activations.

What are brand activations?

Brand activations are events and campaigns that bring a brand to life and connect with consumers on a personal level. These events and campaigns can take many forms, from pop-up shops and experiential marketing campaigns to social media initiatives and influencer partnerships.

Overall, the goal of brand activations is to create an engaging and memorable experience that will leave a lasting impression on consumers.

Why are Brand Activations Important for Business?

Brand Activations Importance

National Geographic “Planet or Plastic?”

A campaign to reduce plastic pollution.

National Geographic launched a campaign in 2018. It was known as “Planet or Plastic?”, aimed at raising awareness of the growing plastic pollution crisis. The campaign was a massive success, reaching over 2 billion people & inspiring millions to take action to reduce their plastic waste.

The campaign used diverse forms of media to reach its audience, including television shows, magazine articles, social media posts, and educational resources. It also partnered with different businesses, organizations, and individuals to create solutions to the plastic pollution problem.

One of the key messages of this campaign was that every person on this planet has a role to play in reducing plastic pollution.

Simple changes like using reusable shopping bags & water bottles, can make a big difference. The campaign also encouraged people to support brands that are committed to reducing their plastic footprint.

Overall, the “Planet or Plastic?” campaign was a major turning point in the fight against plastic pollution. It made the issue more visible plus inspired a new generation of activists to take action.

Apple’s “Think Different”

Here’s to the crazy ones.

Apple’s “Think Different” campaign was one of the most iconic and successful advertising campaigns of all time.

Apple launched it in 1997, featuring black-and-white portraits of famous thinkers & artists, along with the tagline “Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The misfits. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.” 

The campaign celebrated individuality and nonconformity, plus it resonated with Apple’s target audience of young, creative people. It also helped to solidify Apple’s brand image as one of innovation & creativity, and it is credited with helping to turn Apple around in the late 1990s.

The “Think Different” campaign was created and managed by TBWA\Chiat\Day, an advertising agency that had also worked on Apple’s “1984” commercial. This agency came up with an excellent idea for the campaign after studying Apple’s history & culture. They realized that Apple had always been a brand that challenged the status quo, and they wanted to create a campaign that reflected that spirit.

However, the “Think Different” campaign was risky for Apple. At the time, it was struggling financially, and many people doubted whether this campaign would be successful. However, Apple took a chance, and the campaign had a lot of success.

Overall, this campaign ran for five years, plus it won numerous awards, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial. It is still considered to be one of the most effective advertising campaigns of all time.

The “Think Different” campaign is a reminder that it is important to be yourself, think differently, challenge the status quo, and not be afraid to stand out from the crowd.

Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl”

Live the Flavor

Doritos is a popular snack food brand. In 2007, the brand created a daring and innovative marketing campaign that would forever change the landscape of Super Bowl advertising.

Their concept was simple & ingenious: they invited the public to create their commercials for the Super Bowl, promoting the creative process plus tapping into the collective imagination of consumers.

This contest was an instant sensation. It received over 1,500 entries, each competing for the coveted spot during the most-watched television event of the year. Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” generated unexpected buzz and excitement, transforming Doritos from a simple snack brand into a cultural phenomenon.

The winning commercial was titled as “Live the Flavor,” and it presented the spirit of the contest. It portrayed a group of friends going on an exciting adventure, their journey fueled by the irresistible taste of Doritos. The commercial highly resonated with viewers, capturing the essence of friendship, fun, and the tasty power of snacks.

Overall, this contest marked a turning point in advertising history. It demonstrated the influence of consumer-generated content, showcasing the creativity & talent that lay untapped within the general public. Doritos, not only achieved its marketing goals but also fostered a deeper connection with its consumers.

The impact of Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” contest extended far beyond the world of advertising. It sparked a conversation about the role of consumers in the creation of brand narratives. 

The “Crash the Super Bowl” legacy continues to inspire marketers & brands worldwide. It is a testament to the power of innovation, the creativity of consumers, and the transformative potential of a well-executed marketing campaign.

Airbnb’s “Belong Anywhere”

A mission to create a world where everyone can feel at home, no matter where they are.

Airbnb launched a campaign in 2016 that featured people from around the world who use Airbnb to travel & experience new cultures. The campaign was a big success, helping strengthen Airbnb’s brand image as one of community and belonging. 

The campaign’s tagline, “Belong Anywhere,” is a simple but powerful expression of Airbnb’s mission to create a world where every person can feel at home, no matter where they are.

 “Belong Anywhere,” commercials & social media posts showcased a diverse group of people from all walks of life, sharing their stories & experiences of how Airbnb has helped them connect with people and cultures from around the world.

The campaign was a critical & commercial success, winning numerous awards and helping to enhance Airbnb’s brand awareness and reputation. It also helped to drive revenue growth for the company, as more and more people got inspired to travel and experience new cultures through Airbnb.

This campaign is also a testament to the power of storytelling and the importance of creating a brand that people can connect with on an emotional level. By sharing stories of real people who had experienced Airbnb, the company was able to create a sense of community & belonging that resonated with people all over the world.

In addition to its success in raising brand awareness and driving growth, this campaign also had a positive impact on society. It promoted understanding and tolerance between people from different cultures plus tried to make the world a more inclusive and welcoming place.

The “Belong Anywhere” campaign is a role model for other companies that want to create a strong influence that people can connect with. By focusing on storytelling & creating a brand that is based on the values of community and belonging, Airbnb has been able to build a loyal customer base & make a positive impact on the world.

IKEA’s “Happy Hacks”

Clever and Creative Ways to Use IKEA Furniture.

IKEA is a Swedish furniture company, popular for its affordable and stylish furniture. In 2015, it launched a series of YouTube videos called “Happy Hacks” showcasing clever and creative ways to use IKEA furniture. The videos had a lot of success, generating over 1 billion views.

The “Happy Hacks” videos were inspired by the IKEA Hackers community, which is a group of people who share their DIY projects for IKEA furniture. The videos featured diverse hacks, from simple tips for organizing your closet to more complex projects like creating your bed frame.

The videos were popular for many reasons. They were easy to follow, showed people how to get the most out of their IKEA furniture, inspired people to be creative with their furniture, and came up with their hacks.

These videos were a great way to show people how to get the most out of their IKEA furniture. They were also a fun & creative way to promote IKEA’s brand.

In addition to the YouTube videos, IKEA created a website & a social media campaign for the “Happy Hacks” series. This website also featured a variety of hacks, and the social media campaign encouraged the audience to share their hacks.

Overall, this series was a great success for IKEA. It helped to generate positive buzz for the brand plus inspired people to be creative with their furniture.

Dove “Self-Esteem Project”

Because beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

Dove’s “Self-Esteem Project” is a global initiative aimed at helping young people develop a positive body image & self-esteem. It was launched in 2004 and has reached over 30 million young people worldwide with educational programs, workshops, and online resources.

The project is based on the idea that all young people deserve to feel good about themselves, regardless of their they look. For this purpose, Dove has partnered with experts from diverse fields such as psychology, health, and media to develop a range of resources that help young people:

  • Understand the influence of media on body image.
  • Develop critical thinking skills to cope with challenges like unrealistic beauty standards.
  • Appreciate their unique beauty and personality.
  • Build positive body confidence & self-esteem. 

So, Dove’s “Self-Esteem Project” has been shown to have a positive impact on young people’s body image & self-esteem. Studies have found that participants in this project:

  • Have a more positive outlook about their body image.
  • Are more likely to be satisfied with how they look.
  • Have higher self-esteem and confidence.

The project has also been shown to be effective in reducing body image anxiety & disordered eating behaviors.

, Dove’s “Self-Esteem Project” is an important initiative that is truly helping to make a difference in the lives of young people overall the world. By challenging traditional beauty standards plus promoting body positivity, this project is helping young people to develop a healthy and positive body image.

GoPro HERO6: Your Story

A Masterclass in User-Generated Content Marketing.

GoPro launched a campaign in 2017 that featured user-generated content (UGC) from people who used GoPro cameras & equipment to capture their adventures. The campaign was a huge success, helping to enhance GoPro’s sales & improve its brand image.

In this campaign, called “GoPro HERO6: Your Story,” GoPro asked people to submit their videos & photos of themselves using their GoPro cameras. The company then selected some of the best submissions and featured them in a series of online advertisements and social media posts.

The campaign was a success for a lot of reasons. First, it was authentic & relatable. The videos and photos featured real people doing real things. This made the campaign more effective, engaging, and believable than traditional advertising.

Second, the campaign brought into GoPro’s core values. GoPro is all about capturing life’s moments, and the campaign showed how GoPro’s users were utilizing their GoPro cameras to do just that.

Third, the campaign was well-executed and managed. GoPro did a great job of promoting the campaign & getting people involved. The company also used high-quality production values to create the ads and social media posts.

As a result of this campaign, GoPro saw a significant boost in sales and brand awareness. The company’s stock price also rose during the campaign.

Overall, the “GoPro HERO6: Your Story” campaign is a superb example of how UGC can be used to create a successful marketing campaign. The campaign was authentic, relatable, plus well-executed. As a result, it helped GoPro to achieve its goals as well as improve its brand image.

TOMS “One for One”

With every step you take, a child in need takes one too.

TOMS Shoes launched a buy-one, give-one charitable campaign in 2006. It was known as TOMS “One for One”. For every pair of shoes purchased, the brand donated a pair of shoes to a child in need. The campaign has been a great accomplishment, helping to donate over 100 million pairs of shoes to children in need.

The idea for this campaign came to TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie when he was traveling in Argentina. He was struck by the poverty he saw, and he wanted to find a way to help the needy. He realized that many children in developing countries go barefoot which can lead to several health problems. So, he decided to start a brand that would sell shoes plus donate a pair to a child in need for every pair sold.

For this reason, TOMS has partnered with organizations in over 100 countries to distribute shoes to children in need. The company has also expanded its services giving beyond shoes and now donating items like eyeglasses, water, and birth kits.

This campaign has also been criticized by some who argue that it is not a sustainable model for charity. Critics argue that TOMS is not addressing the root causes of poverty and that simply giving away shoes will not solve the main problem. However, this company has defended its model, saying that it is a way to provide immediate relief to children in need.

Despite the criticism, the “One for One” campaign has been a massive success. It has helped to raise awareness of poverty and has provided much-needed relief to needy children. Plus, it has also inspired other companies to adopt similar buy-one, give-one models.

Tips for Creating the Best Brand Activations

Brand Activations Tips

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the process of Brand Activation?

The process of brand activations involves the following steps:

  • Defining goals
  • Identifying the target audience
  • Developing a concept
  • Creating a budget
  • Plan Activation
  • Promote the activation event/campaign
  • Measuring results

What is the purpose of Activations?

Brand activations have a vital role in shaping today’s competitive marketing landscape, providing brands with a powerful tool to connect with consumers on an emotional level plus build lasting relationships. By mastering activations, brands can:

  • Boost brand awareness
  • Enhance brand perception
  • Deepen customer engagement
  • Drive sales and conversions
  • Generate user-generated content
  • Gather valuable customer insights
  • Strengthen employee engagement

Can you Provide Specific Examples of Brand Activations That Have Inspired the Masses?

Brand activations that have inspired the masses are the result of unlocking brand potential with experience marketing. One example is Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, which encouraged athletes of all levels to push their limits and embrace a can-do attitude. Another inspiring activation was Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign, where personalized bottles encouraged people to connect and share the love. These successful brand activations show how experience marketing can engage and resonate with the masses.

To Summarize

Consumers, now expect more than just a product – they crave experiences that resonate. So, as marketers, the challenge is set: How can to create the next brand activation that leaves the masses talking and truly inspired?

These eight exceptional examples, presented by JR Promotions, showcase the evolution of marketing from mere transactions to unforgettable experiences.

Plus, the future of marketing depends on an immersive and engaging approach. Brands are no longer only satisfied with being seen; they want to be felt, experienced, & remembered.

The stage is yours. Let the brand activations continue, and may they keep inspiring your audience for years to come! 

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