Staff Picks: 4 Key Factors for Successful Integrated Marketing Campaigns

BorderX Creative Team’s Staff Picks for Inspiring Integrated Marketing Campaigns

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November 27, 2023

When consumers consider a particular brand as a whole, it’s likely they’ll weigh their interactions with it from numerous avenues. Integrated marketing campaigns communicate a unifying narrative across many platforms through the use of paid, owned, or earned media. It’s not just about a successful social media campaign, but about the collective message that they receive from billboards, popup events, posters, merch, the website, in-store experiences, and much more. 

Considering all this, then, perhaps it’s unsurprising that campaigns incorporating 4 or more digital channels will perform 300% better than those that involve only 1 or 2 channels. The Creative Team at BorderX unveils 4 “it” factors behind some of the most successful global integrated marketing campaigns.

Chanel’s Nostalgic Mother’s Day: Capturing the Audience With Youthful Whimsy

Mother’s Day, Chanel (Since 2015)–Yeryung Ko, Art Director
CHANNELS: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, OOH, website,
experiential (in-stores)

Well-crafted campaign activations can come about in a variety of ways, but Chanel’s thoughtful campaign series, started in 2015, harnesses the power of creating a relatable experience. To create a charmingly festive experience for Mother’s Day, the fashion brand created a creative campaign using signature product drawings from the brand employees’ children. The integrated campaign was particularly successful in that it resonated with a relatable childlike whimsy, drawing on that feeling of family that brings many people back to a collective youth. 

Chanel Mother's Day OOH
Source: JCDecaux

Chanel published videos centered around these doodles on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. The campaign also championed the hand-drawn illustrations on billboards and in-store displays, infusing the nostalgia and youthful energy that are so essential to the campaign. Accentuating the whimsy of it all, Chanel even created a short film called “La Parade” featuring children dancing in costumes based on the doodles.

In terms of the visual component, the overall look was equal parts balanced and graphically striking. The crudely etched color pencil drawings presented an organic and captivating point of focus against the plain white background. Not only that, but the juxtaposition of the brand’s luxurious feel with the innocence of a child’s perspective was what made the campaign interesting not only visually, but conceptually. Chanel’s ability to speak to the inner child while avoiding a didactic approach was a work of art in and of itself. “While there are many ways of measuring a successful marketing campaign, I think Chanel did really well with the Mother’s Day Campaign series in terms of understanding its target audience,” says Ko. “The final output provided mom or mother figures a sentimental moment and a sense of happiness.”

Heinz’s Offbeat Halloween: Amplifying a Playful Campaign Concept Through Influencer Partnership

Toby the Vegetarian Vampire, Heinz (2022)–Erica Pellegatta, Social Media Strategist
CHANNELS:  Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, Reddit, OOH, TV, experiential (LTO meals)

Step aside, cliched Halloween campaigns, Heinz’s integrated marketing campaign for Halloween 2022 managed to be original, targeted, and hilarious all at once. Teaming up with influencer EJ Marcus, the maker of this classic ketchup turned heads with a Toby the Vegetarian Vampire campaign to capture their young millennial audience. The smart campaign brought out the tongue-in-cheek playfulness of both the brand and the influencer, amplifying the synergy of the campaign in the end.

Heinz Tomato Blood Campaign
Source: Wieden+Kennedy New York, Kraft Heinz

The campaign urged other vampires to convert to “Heinz Tomato Blood” rather than human blood via social media content on Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, and Reddit. Toby the Vegetarian Vampire also made an appearance via OOH advertising, Limited Time Offer (LTO) meals at Six Flags, as well as a video aired during the airing of Interview With the Vampire on AMC. The use of TikTok trends, as well as attention to detail like only posting at night brought an engaging flair to the campaign.

This smart integrated campaign worked in tandem with Heinz’s existing branding, which plays to a young millennial audience. Outside of the campaign, the well-loved ketchup brand has been known to pay homage to Taylor Swift’s album covers, or catch TikTok trends, making Toby just one element of the brand’s quirky and creative landscape. “The key is to craft a campaign that is easy to understand, without making the audience overthink,” says Pellegatta. “You should immediately recognize the brand through its integrated marketing campaigns.” Which coincidentally speaks to their well-known copy, “It has to be Heinz.

Dropbox’s Digital Memory Box: Humanizing a Digital Service Through Authentic Storytelling

For All Things Worth [...], Dropbox (2021)–Yoolim Moon, Graphic Designer
CHANNELS: Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, X, OOH, website, Connected TV

When making something as abstract as a file hosting service more concrete, integrated marketing campaigns can go a long way when you infuse real human experience. Beyond selling a service, Dropbox’s “For All Things Worth [...]” campaign went the extra mile to find and feature diverse stories of real users through their files, effectively communicating the way the brand has integrated itself into people’s lives.

In 2021, the well-known tech brand launched a creative campaign that centered around an emotional and authentic key message. Dropbox featured real items (everything from flight tickets, to paintings, hand-written notes, and videos) that took the service from simple data storage to memories that are central to users’ identities and heritage.

The campaign was activated across numerous channels including outdoor, print and digital, connected TV, and social media content. And to tie the campaign together, Dropbox created a unified design system across all creatives including elements from the actual user interface. The creatives put user names and faces front and center, adding another layer of authenticity to the campaign.

Dropbox Integrated Marketing Campaign
Source: Instrument, Dropbox

In the end, the thoughtful campaign successfully created a sense of community for the users, instilling a sense of trust and authenticity while practically demonstrating the value of their service. “I’m inspired by the long-living message; it provides a foundational, timeless creative language to the brand,” says Moon.

Cheetos’s Unlikely Blend: Inventing a Tech Origin Story to Elevate a Food Brand 

Hands-Free, Cheetos (2022)–Juhee Lee, Copywriter
CHANNELS: print ad, OOH, experiential (SXSW pop up activation), YouTube

Sure, great campaign activations begin with great narratives. But the Cheetos Hands-Free campaign in 2022 goes above and beyond your average integrated marketing campaign because it’s not only well-branded, but also topical.

The cheesy snack brand invented a playful premise to the invention of hands-free tech that fills our modern world, supposing that the messy Cheetos-covered fingers are the reason for the rise of the need for such technology. The brand launched an extensive integrated marketing campaign including print ads, videos, and OOH advertising. The campaign even included a strategic pop-up activation at the widely-known multifaceted tech conference, SXSW, as well as a giveaway for hands-free devices. All components included daring copy in a tone that was original to Cheetos, along with graphics that maintained a level of realism, committing to the origin story of hands-free tech.

Cheetos Hands Free House
Source: VTProDesign

Beyond the holistic and trend-relevant approach of the campaign, the highly branded nature made it so memorable. The tongue-in-cheek root of the campaign plays to the brand’s target: the daring, the mischievous and the young at heart. Not only that, but it also seems to create a whole stranger-than-fiction world, similar to their existing branded elements like Chester Cheetah, and the word  “Cheetle” for the orange dust on your fingers after eating Cheetos. “The campaign is so successful because it’s nestled comfortably within the tightly-knit ecosystem the brand has constructed,” says Lee. “The concept feels thoroughly thought out and aimed amusingly at its target audience.”

Building Your Own Integrated Marketing Campaigns

Across the board, these campaign activations show that a strategic, cohesive narrative can go the extra mile in effective integrated marketing campaigns. By increasing exposure to the same graphics, copy, and messaging, integrated marketing campaigns are a great way to boost brand awareness and charge your business strategy with newfound energy toward meeting ambitious goals. But beyond that, it’s about finding the creative idea and direction that will amplify the campaign, make your message pop, and achieve your goals.

That’s where we step in. Ready to amplify your brand globally through a smart integrated marketing campaign? Say hello here.

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