Hello creators! Grab your pencils and adjust your glasses, you'll definitely want to take notes. As you might have figured out by now, innovation is a fascination of ours, and it's a subject we can't stop studying. Our goal, of course, is to become a model of innovation and spice up the world with our groundbreaking branding. As with any field, the first step is to train with the masters. In this article, we'll analyze prominent names in the industry and explore some of the most impactful branding campaigns that offer essential key takeaways. Get ready to unlock some doors!

I've curated a list of brands that need no introduction. Despite having vastly different approaches to their campaigns and overall direction, they all shine brightly in an oversaturated market. These brands fully commit to innovation and consistently rethink their branding strategies, seizing opportunities wherever they see. By addressing gaps in the market, daring to be different, and taking calculated risks, there key takeaways add to a full keychain, no wonder why they have opened so many doors.

"Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Consumers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don't catch up, we're in trouble." - Ian Schafer


1. Patagonia

**Image by Tim Nudd on**

We should all know the first brand we are taking a look at has been well establish for more than 50 years. You probably know it as an activist and socially-conscious company. Over the years, they have launched an incredible number of interesting campaigns (you should definitely check out their "Vote the Asshole Out" campaign for more), but let's focus on a particularly risky one they ran in 2011.

During Black Friday, Patagonia published a bold ad in The New York Times featuring one of their jackets with the title "Don't Buy This Jacket." For a brand that ultimately aims to sell more, this campaign may seem counterintuitive but Patagonia delivers when it is time to honor their core values; quality, integrity, environmentalism, justice and not-bound by convention. If you want our humble opinion, this campaign highlights every a single one of these values and this alignment is exactly why customers choose the brand.

If you haven't guessed it already, the goal of this shocking slogan associated with their brand on one of the craziest consumerism days was precisely to make consumers consider their choices, their impact, and encourage them to buy less, and buy better. While it should drive away the sells, I think the impact of this campaign was, in the contrary, to establish stronger connection with their existing customers and catch new one by embodying every single good-conscious concerns that comes to mind when answering the exact questions the brand rises; is it sustainable, eco-friendly, good quality?

Key takeaway: Environmental Consciousness, Social Impact, Effect of surprise, Controversy


2. Dove

Photo by Tim Nudd on Adweek:

Next, we have Dove, I believe everyone is familiar with. Back in 2004, Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign emerged as a response to growing concerns. They noticed that women were becoming more and more insecure about their body. In today's world, and we are bombarded more than ever with curated, optimized versions of beauty. The root of this issue started with constant portrayal of skinny, young, and flawless models back then (and still today) but steadily grew through social media and all it’s tools to alter images and make everyone look like surreal gorgeous human beings and that this supermodel idea is well, the norm. No wonder we all started picking on our imperfection.

As a response, Dove started using "real women" instead of models in their campaign (we actually knew one of those beauty’s in a future campaign). Dove received positive feedback and realized the immense relief people felt when they saw women with imperfections being represented authentically. This realization led Dove to make a long-term commitment to accurately represent their customers rather than promoting an unattainable utopia. Since then, Dove has abstained from using models and image distortion or modification. Their new models are introduced by name and they get to approve the selected content they appear in. Dove listened to what they customer actually needed and this is why it became such a success.

Key Takeaway: Authenticity, positive impact, culturally relevant


3. Netflix^tfw|twcamp^tweetembed|twterm^1529100176320778241|twgr^3aa11ed860fc14ed872cc53158fdc3f327bef9a8|twcon^s1_&

This company is already known for its innovative side; from changing the game when it comes to movie rentals, to producing their own series, we know that the innovative ideas they brought to their market is what created the huge success of the company. Their new exclusive original content has attracted many users to their platform, and one of the standout series is undoubtedly Stranger Things. In this article, we focused on Netflix's campaign for Season 4 of this fantastic series, where they went all out to create excitement and mystery and putting the name back into conversations. (This is what we call an amazing example of Guerilla Marketing, OUR FAVOURITE TYPE)

The brand kicked started their campaign by teasing us with collaboration. They first co-created fun short film with artists that turned beloved characters from Stranger Things into animated versions, tapping in our nostalgia and creating deeper emotional connection with them. Netflix's collaboration extended not only to local artists but also to brands, releasing a series of products related to the TV show, from Lay's chips with unique flavors to Oreo cookies with a Stranger Things theme. Then, they deployed the «Upisde-down» theme of the season by disrupting our day-to-day with mysterious events. They put-up posters with a phone number which led strange voicemail. They invited the public in, made a «portal» to an immersive experience from a tent set-up by people in hazmat suit.

They went above and beyond with this campaign with many more aspects I am not covering here, but most importantly, they tailored there marketing efforts to suit the habits and trends of the various countries they were targeting. Collaboration, whether with artist, brands or influencer, was all-over the campaign making it possible to cover all ground imaginable.

Key takeaway; Interactivity, Co-creation, mystery


4. RedBull

Red Bull's slogan, "Red Bull gives you wings," is one of the few in the industry that hasn't changed since the company's creation in 1996. It did, however, became a problem at some point when they faced lawsuits from people claiming it was false advertising since it didn’t really gives wings. Red Bull listened and responded with one of their most significant campaigns, that came close to giving wings.

The company transitioned from merely selling beverages to becoming associated with extreme sports and it all started with the 2012 event they organized and sponsored, called Stratos, where athlete Felix Baumgartner did a parachute jump from the edge of space while wearing an astronaut suit. The event was not only a resounding success by breaking multiple world records, including being the first freefall to break the speed of sound barrier but also by boosting Red Bull's sales to an impressive $500 million, a remarkable return on the campaign's mere $30 million cost. This moment marked a new era for Red Bull.

They since then are well-known for their sponsorship of extreme sports and the multiple shows and movies they have financed on the subject (you can find them for free on Overall it is entering the world of extreme sports that have propelled the company to new height and made the giant it is now.

The success of this campaign lies in its ability to make people dream about the impossible and push the limits of what we can achieve by offering athletes a chance and opportunity to pursue these activities as a career, something that was previously unrealistic due to the niche nature of these sports and the lack of financial support.

Key takeaway; link the brand and its value to something bigger, focusing on who the target audience wants to become and support them into becoming it, be disruptive, inspire

"Innovation is taking two things that already exist and putting them together in a new way." - Tom Freston

There is much to learn from these campaigns and how unconventional they all are. You probably also noticed that the thing they all shared in common is that their core focus around which everything gravitates, is the needs of their customers. Keep in mind that you are working for these people. If you want your brand to succeed, you have to take them into consideration. We are at a point where we are bombarded by ads and spam every minute of our life, and it's just not cutting it anymore. It often has the opposite effect; too much spam from a particular brand will make you disengage and avoid the brand altogether. But these companies delved into our passions, insecurities, concerns, and desires. They deliver more than products – full-on experiences. They gave us emotions, stories, and memories to associate with them, thus winning a place in our hearts and making us more inclined to support them.

We hope this article was hugely useful to you and that it provided you with some keys to open any locked doors you might be facing and get you started on a path to a new beginning or an existing one.

Contact us to get some wild ideas started.


  1. **Don’t Buy This Jacket, Black Friday and the New York Times, This story was first published on November 25, 2011. It has been updated with notes for 2022
  2. Dove campaigns
  3. Redbull
  4. Remez Sasson, Creativity Quotes that Awaken Inspiration and Bring Innovation,
  5. 50 quotes from visionary leaders to motivate and inspire entrepreneurs, Jul 14, 2023,
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