Personalization is a big deal in marketing and advertising. It means brands are able to target their audience on a more personal level and create a better connection. Although personalization is not a new technique, recent technology advances have meant smarter applications and greater opportunities in which to apply it.
But there’s a fine line between cool and creepy when it comes to personalization. People are concerned with too much data tracking and personal intel getting into the hands of big brands or corporations. So how do you master the art of relevant marketing without crossing that line? Check out these examples that members of our creative team picked of marketing campaigns that got it right.
Personalized Cans, Coca-Cola
Anne Lewis, Lead Copywriter
As much as the word iconic is ridiculously overused today, there are few brands that truly fit the bill. Coca-Cola is one of them. The brand stands for happiness, for optimism, and for togetherness.
Needless to say, Coke’s advertising has always reaffirmed its brand mission and manifesto. From vintage Coke ads that show people sharing a coke, to “I’d like to teach the world to sing” to the most recent blockbuster campaign – share a coke with ____________.
It’s personalization on the grandest scale. Thousands of names on millions of cans that affirm the brand and bring people together. It’s created significant goodwill for the brand, served as a conversation piece, and has turned Coke cans into collector’s items. Because, after all, everyone loves to see their name in print.
Nikola Keavy, Art Director
One of my favorite personalized campaigns is Climatune by Spotify.
This isn’t Spotify’s first personalization rodeo. If you’re a Spotify user you’ve probably come across Discover Weekly, a weekly playlist that recommends new artists and songs based on your previous listening history and interests. This is one of the many ways Spotify uses personalization to create a better experience and make users ‘stickier’ over time.
For the Climatune campaign, Spotify partnered with AccuWeather to give insights into how weather affects music streaming. You can discover the results through a campaign landing page, where you’ll receive a personalized playlist depending on your location and the current weather. For example, if you’re in Helsinki and it’s cloudy your playlist will include Ziggy Stardust, but if you’re in New York you’ll see something completely different.
The result is genius. It’s a fun, interactive way of exploring new music and discovering interesting facts that are relevant to you. All the while, Spotify is promoting brand awareness and gaining positive brand capital quietly in the background.
Great! But why does this work? People are information savvy and consumers get really good at filtering out non-relevant information. Spotify knows this and uses personalization to their advantage. They know that I care more about the weather and listening habits in San Francisco (the city where I live) than I do in Vancouver. And that by showing me that it’s sunny and 72’F in San Francisco I’m convinced that this information is not just relevant, but also up-to-date. Pair this information and relevancy with a well-executed design – I’m sold.
Fit For Food, Fitbit
Dexter Gary, Designer
In 2015, Fitbit used customer data and email marketing to raise 1.5 million for the nonprofit Feeding America.
A couple years ago when data-driven marketing first began to surface, Fitbit tech giant partnered with the food bank Feeding America and launched its “Fit for Food” campaign. In total, the campaign convinced 106,000 of its customers to participate in burning calories to help feed the hungry for a month by burning 1 billion calories. Instead of aimlessly waiting around for the contestants to pass the finish line, Fitbit proactively collected physical activity through user wearables to calculate the number of burned calories. They then sent daily personalized emails to each of the users reminding them of their activity and encouraging the value proposition.
When the results were in, 1.5 million meals had been donated to the hungry, and more than 1 billion calories had been burned. Fitbit jumped to social media to tell their customers to celebrate. I’d call that a win.
20th Anniversary, Easyjet
Mike Twigg, Creative Director
EasyJet looked to data to help celebrate their 20th anniversary. They wanted to find inspiring, personal nuggets of information about their customers.
They created entirely personalized emails with dynamic copy, images, and links to tell each customer’s story from their first flight to their future flights. They also added some fascinating facts about their travel behavior and personal recommendations for future trips. Using the data they had about their customers allowed them to create emotional personalized stories that would bring their customers travels to life in an innovative, creative way. The stories inspire the emotion of nostalgia and the excitement of future plans.
They made personal travel recommendations by creating a model that profiled all of the destinations customers had been to and suggested other, relevant ones. And they compared the distance traveled to things like the length of the Nile and the distance to the moon.
The campaign is an excellent example of how to leverage your email list plus your customer data to create an engaging campaign. From design, copy, and data, all parts worked together to deliver a successful personalized campaign.
Their open rates were over 100% more than that of the average easyJet newsletter – with 25 percent higher click-through rates. Nice work EasyJet!
Outdo you, Nike+
Kate Reyes, Art Director
This one is an oldie, but a goodie.
At the end of 2014 Nike, with the help of AKQA, created 100,000 personalized videos with content provided by individual Nike+ data. Each one-minute film features a generalized male or female animated character running through an individually tailored video that has pulled information from a user’s location, activity, and personal Nike+ movement data.
People love personal statistics, especially when it comes to health and fitness goals. With this campaign, Nike urged its consumers to push themselves further as they go into the new year: “Outdo you in 2015.”
As a woman who tracks her daily FitBit output religiously and logs all of her workouts on a calendar, I found this campaign super inspiring. What good is all this personal data if you don’t put it to good use? What better motivation than to urge you to beat your own records?
A personal fitness “year in review” was a genius concept. As a creative person using data as a crutch is often a difficult pill to swallow, leveraging numbers doesn’t seem as exciting as grand conceptual ideas—however, with this campaign, Nike was able to marry beautiful creative work with impactful personal data.
Well done, Nike.
There you have it, our top picks for the best personalized brand and marketing campaigns. We hope you’re feeling inspired to personalize and connect with your customers and prospects in ways that are cool, engaging, and drive tangible results for your brand.