The last decade has seen mobile phones transform from being a single purpose communication device to an operating system of how we go about our day.  It has simultaneously increased our efficiency and decreased our patience. In a time when solution to every problem can be googled and the world has been shrunk inside a single search engine, do people actually have the time to go through minute long polished advertisements? Advertisement has become so much of an annoying interloper that it has become rather mandatory for companies to not only create ad that conveys the brand’s message but rather ads with which consumers would want to spend time with. In an era when advertisements are a brutal victim of the skip button, when consumers get annoyed by 5 second YouTube advertisement, expression of creativity has become a mandatory elevator pitch. Companies truly need to ramp up their game by creating the most innovative and shortest advertisements to grab the attention span of their audience. Brands can either use the path of exaggeration to say their message ? like detergent brand Ariel, who through their print ad makes a person’s shirt look so white that it blocks the shadow ? or use the path of explicit visualization like Ikea who, in a visual image, puts a pair of torn out sneakers inside a brand new stiletto to highlight the lack of closet space aiming to promote their space saving solutions.

When asked about why innovation is required in advertisement, the response percentage showed the following statistics:

– For growth of the company 98%

– To gain competitive advantage 69%

– For product innovations 69%

– To create new connection with the consumers 65%

– To increase conversations about the brand 63%

Source: Dunnhumby

With 63% respondents in favor of increasing conversation with the brand suggests that innovation is required for consumers to be engaged with a brand.

Platforms of advertisement has grown at a rapid scale, bringing more scope of innovation to the inbound marketing industry. Because of Digital Ecosystem being introduced alongside traditional platforms, brand owners now have the scope to harness the power of data they can gather from digital insights of consumer habits, social media usage and attitudes. It is not necessary for brand owners to move from traditional approach, but now they can rather use both digital and traditional ecosystem to create mind blowing marketing strategies. In this article we aim to examine some of the case studies which talks about the innovative ways 21st century advertisement is entertaining, moving and motivating us.


ikea 1024x576 - INNOVATION IN ADVERTISINGIkea is a world renowned furnishing and home accessory brand operating in many countries around the globe. Ikea, with its wide range of furnishing and home décor products, promises their consumers to sleep at peace every night. But while advertising, they took an unexplored and rather unique approach.  Ikea’s marketing agency created the ‘Sleepiest Print Ad’ featured on the back of Good magazine issue for April published in United Arab Emirates. The advertisement promises that everything about it is designed to ensure that their consumers sleep better. The first engaging factor of the advertisement was the aroma coming from lavender ink which was used to print the advertisement. Lavender ink is known to create calming effect by relaxing muscles, slowing heart beat and leading to improved sleep quality. But the ad doesn’t stop its innovation right there. According to the copy, after detaching the ad from the magazine and removing some tabs the whole thing can be plugged in an USB and charged to be used as a white noise speaker.

This is a primary example of how brands are using the old school tool of advertisement yet bringing innovation in their strategies.


fearless girl - INNOVATION IN ADVERTISING“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders”, said Sheryl Sandberg in the book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

We want to see a future where right to equality is no longer only a woman’s fight but rather a phenomenon in the society. In the face of leadership how many women do we see in the forefront as torch bearers? Are our leadership roles gender neutral? These are some of the questions that Investment fund, State Street Global Advisors wanted to ask their counterparts in Wall Street.

They wanted to raise awareness on gender equality in leadership and called on companies to have greater gender diversity on the board.  The company created a fund to invest in companies with more female leadership. But they envisioned to create a broader impact and didn’t think this initiative itself was enough. So, on the eve of International Women’s Day 2017, the company brought The Fearless Girl to Wall Street. A temporary statue to promote the power of women. This physical statue created 4.6 billion twitter impressions, 745 million Instagram impressions in 12 weeks and became a social media celebrity. Petition was won to make this a permanent statue. Today, The Fearless Girl is only statue dedicated to women amongst the 6 permanent statues of New York.

New York Times says, “She reminds you that marching is important but sometimes you can make a difference by standing still.”


David Bowie 1 1024x648 - INNOVATION IN ADVERTISINGIconic Londoner and famous singer of the 70’s, David Bowie had a long inspirational career where he spent a significant amount of time in New York until his death in 2016, that too in Manhattan. Two years after his death, digital music service provider Spotify wanted to honor his legacy in the most iconic NYC way possible. What is recognizably unique to every New Yorker life is its subways. So Spotify designed a subway station takeover honoring David Bowie. Spotify aimed to create awareness of his musical legacy in the neighborhood where he resided. So in Broadway-Lafayette station, Spotify as an exhibitor turned the walls and other surface of the station interactive with ionic reminders and music created by David Bowie. Apart from that, ‘David Bowie is’, an homage was also exhibited at the same time in the Brooklyn Museum.



P&G’s ‘Thank you, Mom’ was a campaign which might not have a very innovative strategy but the creativity and emotional attainment of this campaign was vast. The biggest strength and the common denominator of a brand that hosts range of products from pampers to Olay skin care is their vast consumer base who are mostly mothers. Mother is that constant figure in all of our lives who cares and empowers. From birth, no matter what age we are at, every time we fall, our mothers are always there to pick us up mentally, morally and physically. During 2012 London Olympics, P&G leveraged these emotions to show how mothers were that epitome of power that picked up the athletes every time they would fall or fail, and thanked every mother for their contribution. The global efforts behind ‘Thank you Mom’ had a staggering $500 million incremental impact on P&G’s sales. There was no product placement in the advertisement, despite so during the end of Olympics P&G saw a rise of .1% sales vs. a .2% increase in sales for their entire industry.



This campaign is a perfect example of using old school offline advertisement technique in order to promote something that is a cloud based application, innovative and virtual. Tinder is a world famous application that helps eligible bachelors to meet someone they would be interested to date. In order to promote this popular dating application Tinder, in partnership with Tinder agency Delta created a dating wall in Brooklyn. While designing the wall Delta had put scenes from nine exotic destinations for New York singles to take selfies and put up in their dating profiles. The wanted to give their targeted audience a chance to look like attractive jet-setters, to help them meet their perfect match. It is a perfect example of fun, interactive and innovative strategy.


MailChimp is a marketing platform for small businesses. Envisioned for MailChimp, executed by the marketing agency Droga5, this campaign is known to have won the Cyber Grand Prix at Cannes.


maxresdefault 1 1024x576 - INNOVATION IN ADVERTISING


MailChimp is a creative company that gives other companies unique digital tools to grow in their own creative way. But when the question came of introducing themselves, they knew they had to do it in their own unique way too. MailChimp created 9 unique experience that all sounded like Mailchimp. Whether you call it MaleCrimp, MailShrimp, KaleLimp, FailChips, VeilHymn, SnailPrimp, JailBlimp, WhaleSynth or NailChamp, the result was the same—lots of attention for MailChimp itself. They did a page search campaign where every time someone would Google any of the 9 experience it would suggest them MailChimp saying ‘Did you mean – Mailchimp’. This way no matter which experience consumers were interested they were bound to find their way back to MailChimp. Through this campaign MailChimp wanted to target wide range of diverse audience. So they launched three short films nationwide named MailShrimp, JailBlimp, KaleLimp. They launched a musical instrumental application through which one could make music only using whale noises called WhaleSynth. VeilHymn was a musical collaboration with hit singles in a sexy interactive music video. NailChamp was a competitive platform of nail artists and their work, MaleCrimp, SnailPrimp were obscure new fashion trends. Lastly came FailChip. Through these creative experiences MailChimp dropped creative things in all parts of the culture and then waited for the right people to pick them up. This campaign was a huge social media buzz and drove sales for MailChimp. They believed that when you know how the internet works, doing something your way isn’t just fun, it is also good business.


OralB 1 - INNOVATION IN ADVERTISINGMultinational P&G brought world’s first smart toothbrush to the market for Oral-B. The brush has the capacity of tracking a user’s brushing regime using Bluetooth tech. The technology sends data to the user’s mobile application. The data can be later shared with the dentist for proper dental treatment. Through the device, users can also create their own personalized routines. But how did they come up with the idea of this innovative technology?

In order to bring this smart technology to the market, their R&D expenditure was spent in traditional method of research but rather through asking their consumers for ideas. While launching their new product ‘Oral-B smart toothbrush’ instead of going through the tradition process of extensive modelling by allocating money, people, resources and supply chain, P&G took an easier path. In a crowdsourcing platform eYeka they launched an unbranded marketing campaign to ask consumers what they would prefer their connected toothbrush to offer them. In less than 22 days, from over 24 countries the brand accumulated 67 suggestions. Of the $84bn sales which P&G made the previous year of launching the brush, they spent more than $2bn (£1.2bn) on R&D which in this case meant crowdsourcing. What P&G had to say about the campaign was that Crowdsourcing gave people who understood the technology possibilities and speed to create something that was otherwise out of their reach.  A lot of efficient and innovative ideas were transformed very quickly due to innovative strategy implemented in this campaign strategy. Crowdsourcing is a new way of engaging consumer with a brand, and no brand could use it as efficiently as Oral-B of P&G.

Speed is critical to innovation as the technology space is moving at a lightning fast speed. It also means that brands need to move from thinking to execution to immediate implementation at a much faster pace, and bring out of the box thinking and innovation to their creativity.


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