4 Marketing Campaigns So Good You Didn’t Know They Existed
There’s no doubt that marketing is intertwined with culture. Good marketing resonates with current culture and great marketing creates it. But while most campaigns fade with the times (few of us ask ‘Wazzupp!?’ anymore), some become so embedded in culture that we forget they were ever ads in the first place.
Here are four forgotten marketing campaigns behind common culture.
She’s Got Beauty, She’s Got Grace
She’s Miss United States and a major attraction for Atlantic City. Recognizing the popularity of newspaper beauty contests, the Businessmen’s League of Atlantic City invited winners to the 1921 Fall Frolic beauty pageant to draw tourists to the boardwalk past Labor Day. A remarkable 100,000 people came to watch and by 1955 the Miss America Competition was a nationally televised event. Atlantic City had found its claim to fame and boasts not one but two celebratory statues, one of early host Bret Parks and another of a Miss America that has become a popular photo spot for visitors.
An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
The apple as the wholesome fruit we know today began its foray into American culture as hard cider. But as alcoholism began to attract public outcry in the late 19th century, the apple was in danger. Apple growers in the 1900s rushed to make sweeter variations of the bitter cider apples and rebranded the apple as a health food. Thus, the apple’s slogan was born: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. It was clever advertising that saved the apple and cemented its survival in American culture.
A Diamond is Forever
You’ve probably heard De Beers classic slogan “A Diamond is Forever”; Advertising Age named it the best slogan of the twentieth century. But it wasn’t just catchy – it revolutionized the market and made diamonds the symbol of long-lasting love. Before De Beers, simple engagement rings were tradition and diamonds’ popularity was decreasing after World War I and the Great Depression. In 1939, De Beers began a massive campaign to convince the public of the incomparable value of diamonds. And it worked: in 1939, only 10% of engagement rings featured diamonds. By 1990, 80% did.
When annual mail volume doubled to 66.5 billion pieces of mail between 1943 and 1962, the U.S. Postal Service initiated the Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) code system. They brought in Mr. Zip, a simple but likeable cartoon character, to remind the public to use the codes. Months before the ZIP code’s official launch on July 1, 1963, Mr. Zip appeared in newspapers, stamp sheet margins, mail trucks and more – he even had a float in an Illinois July 4 parade. A hit until his retirement in 1986, Mr. Zip is credited with the campaign’s success. ZIP code use reached 86% by 1970 and 97% by 1979. In 2013, the beloved character returned to grace stamps in celebration of the ZIP code’s 50th anniversary.
So there you go! The more you know.