Header Background

5 Marketing Examples: How Real-World Brands Stand Out

Published April 11, 2022
/ Updated June 15, 2022

When brainstorming about how to market your brand, you want to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Here, we’ve compiled a list of 5 real-world marketing examples from brands of all sizes and industries.

1. Coca-Cola: Take Advantage Of Seasonality

Why It’s A Good Example

  1. Coca-Cola has permanently integrated itself into the holiday season with this line of commercials. The image of the Coca-Cola polar bear has become so iconic that most people know it will be a Coca-Cola advertisement as soon as they see a polar bear. The holiday season represents joy and family coming together, and Coca-Cola has found a way to intertwine itself with these feelings and traditions.
  2. The polar bears in this commercial are cute, playful, and innocent. Studies tell us that we are hardwired to enjoy cute things [1]. It provides our brains with rewarding neurotransmitters and causes us to pay attention and care more.
  3. The style of this advertisement also helps it to stand out. The commercial is animated and does not use any dialogue. The animation allows for a pattern interrupt that grabs the consumer’s attention and creates a memorable experience.

What You Can Learn From This Example

  1. Seasonality is important. Coca-Cola chooses to run these advertisements during the holiday season to attach the idea of the brand with the joyful memories of the holidays. They further associate themselves with that time of year and family traditions by airing these exclusively during the holiday season.
  2. By continuously reusing the polar bear concept, Coca-Cola has developed a character that can be immediately associated with its brand. This character can also be used in merchandise and products, opening another sales market for Coca-Cola.
  3. Many brands use animal characters to promote their products consistently. Whether it be Tony The Tiger, the Aflac duck, or the Geico gecko, humans experience positive feelings from animals, making it an ideal approach for emotional marketing.

2. Dollar Shave Club: Never Be Lost In A Sea Of Competition

Why It’s A Good Example

  1. Have you ever noticed that you still have no idea what an ad is about? Not with Dollar Shave Club! They let you know what their brand is about right away. Their promise to deliver high-quality razors right to your door for a dollar a month is a unique tagline.
  2. Dollar Shave Club represents itself as a “club” that is off the cuff and different from typical razor companies. They have identified a separate target audience that does not associate themselves with the sophisticated gentleman culture most razor advertisements push. Instead, this audience relates to a company that’s informal and good-humored.
  3. The advertisement is funny and constantly keeps the audience guessing. Whether it be the man with shaving cream on his head or the bear mascot, the ad keeps you looking forward to the next scene. Creating humorous content that is engaging and shareable is the perfect recipe to help videos go viral, as Dollar Shave Club has successfully done.

What You Can Learn From This Example

  1. Dollar Shave Club makes sure you know what they are about immediately. Their tagline is catchy and memorable, and they market to a group of consumers who value affordability, humor, and convenience.
  2. Know your target audience. This advertisement selects an audience that enjoys a good laugh and does not get offended easily. Swearing in commercials is a risk as it may be off-putting, but in this case, dropping the F-bomb grabs the attention of the intended viewers and makes it memorable.
  3. The humorous twists and turns leave the audience with no idea of what to expect and eager to see what’s next. It’s not too random that it causes consumers to lose track of the message. The camera focuses on the main character as he ventures through the warehouse and utilizes great transitions to keep the message on track.

3. Nike: Helping Make Dreams A Reality

Why It’s a Good Example

  1. This advertisement from Nike does a fantastic job telling a story, one of the most effective marketing methods. In a world where consumers are bombarded with ads, it’s not enough to simply explain product features. Brands need to connect with consumers’ emotions and create an identity of what they are about.
  2. The heartwarming narrative of how Nike helped a real person achieve an extraordinary goal will stick with almost any audience. Stories that conjure up emotions are far more likely to be remembered than facts [2]. Nike is known for creating inspiring advertisements, and this one is no exception. The piece’s tone connects to the established Nike brand of overcoming adversity to achieve incredible things.
  3. This advertisement also has limited dialogue and instead uses music to evoke emotion. Music has powerful effects on the brain. It can get us fired up for the gym, anxious during a scary movie, or bring about tears after a breakup. Selecting the right variety of music for an advertisement can significantly intensify consumers’ emotions.

What You Can Learn From This Example

  1. Nike’s storytelling skills are a lesson that any marketer can use. The advertisement’s tone, including music and the documentary film style, creates a memorable and touching narrative. The aspirational runner in the commercial is also someone with a unique story and a person we want to cheer on.
  2. Not only is this story touching, but it’s also inspiring. The runner in this story has overcome great obstacles in his life and was empowered by Nike to do so. This gives consumers a sense that the brand will help them achieve goals beyond their wildest dreams.
  3. The music choices for this commercial help reinforce the inspiring story that Nike is trying to tell. The video, paired with music that invokes an emotional reaction, engages viewers with the narrative and makes it memorable.

4. Busch Light: Sponsorships And Influencers

Why It’s A Good Example

  1. Busch Light utilized a fan with a large following and turned him into an advocate for their brand. You Betcha represents a crowd of simple, blue-collared Midwesterners, the ideal target audience for Busch beer. Followers of You Betcha look up to the main character and value his opinion, which creates trust with the brand.
  2. Busch has become so intertwined with You Betcha that everything the viral media company does is an advertisement for Busch. Nearly every video produced illustrates this man’s loyalty to Busch Light. The connection is so strong that even videos that do not directly advertise Busch still trigger the thought of the beer to devoted followers of the series.
  3. This is another excellent example of using tasteful humor to make shareable content. Those that relate to the brand’s message can’t wait to repost to their page and get a rise out of their own followers. It feels rewarding when our posts get engagement and provide joy to our friends, and Busch certainly doesn’t mind the spreading of their advertisement!

What You Can Learn From This Example

  1. Develop partnerships with fans. If you know someone out there who is a user with considerable influence, offer them a sponsorship to become a promoter of your brand. They will become even more loyal to you as they are excited about the free products and benefits, and the business reaps the rewards of instantly getting in front of a large target audience.
  2. This advertisement didn’t have expensive production or advanced video editing skills. It’s pretty amateur and straightforward in this sense. To this target audience, the simplicity of the ad comes off as more authentic and relatable. Quality is essential, but the quantity of content is equally paramount to spreading your message to more consumers.
  3. When there are dozens of other competitors on the shelves, as is the case with light beer, what message can you deliver to consumers to let them know what your product is all about? The goal is not to relate to everybody, and trying to do so will usually hinder success. Find the concept that works for your target audience and hammer that idea home.

5. Slack: Product Led Growth

Why It’s A Good Example

  1. This advertisement identifies the correct audience by targeting software users instead of decision-makers. Heads of companies may not see the need for this product as much as their employees who experience the problems Slack solves.
  2. It describes that the product will allow you to work and communicate faster, making it the perfect tool for someone looking to make their busy workday more efficient. The commercial explains how you can work inside and outside of your company on their platform and make your team more productive and connected.
  3. The commercial’s style is bright and quick, reinforcing the positive way Slack will make you and your employees more efficient. The animation and drawing style are eye-catching and help attract viewers and entice them to learn more about Slack.

What You Can Learn From This Example

  1. By highlighting the daily experiences of the customer base that your product or service will most affect, you can make sure to reach your target audience. By advertising more to the general user than a decision-maker, Slack can speak to an audience that could benefit greatly from their service.
  2. This commercial uses outcome-based selling, focusing more on discussing the customer’s priorities than the product’s features. Slack doesn’t go into detail about how to use their product or why a specific characteristic makes it the best. It simply sells the result of communicating more efficiently, ultimately what their customer needs daily.
  3. This ad’s fast-paced and bright style helps remind the consumer of the speed and convenience of Slack. The bright colors and poppy animation are eye-catching and fun and reflect Slack’s overall efficiency, speed, and informal communication style.

Now that you have all of the tools you need to help you stand out, try one of these techniques to improve your marketing and grow your brand.


[1] Nittono, H., Fukushima, M., Yano, A., & Moriya, H. (2012). The power of kawaii: Viewing cute images promotes a careful behavior and narrows attentional focus. PloS one. Retrieved March 5, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3458879/

[2] Tyng, C. M., Amin, H. U., Saad, M. N. M., & Malik, A. S. (2017, August 24). The influences of emotion on learning and memory. Frontiers in psychology. Retrieved March 5, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5573739/