When you’re marketing for FMCG brands, it’s good to sit back every once in a while and not just look at your work, but look at what work is actually working. Some of the best campaigns moving FMCG consumers today use classic ideas paired with innovative approaches, and there are key elements within them that all marketers can learn from.

So, what do these campaigns do well that move people? As brand marketers, creativity and connection are at the core of what we’re trying to achieve. We need creativity to generate interest through novel approaches. This also needs to be emotive and engaging if we’re wanting to spur change – there’s plenty of reading on how an emotional approach trumps a logical one. Essentially, our job is to get people to like our brands just a little bit more – and a little bit more than our competition.

To connect with people and get them to notice brand campaigns these days, we do need to approach this a little differently. Typically, FMCG brands need to get nationwide scale and connect to the relevant target market – and with the technology available today, both objectives are achievable. Nationwide reach can still be achieved through a more traditionally focused campaign, and digital can enable brands to deliver impact by being more relevant to different niches at scale. Combining a traditional and digital approach is ideal.

When it comes to media, the objective is to create a wide awareness of the product with the target market. Ultimately, we want to increase the occasional purchasing frequency. If we can get a few more people trialing the product, or current customers purchasing a little more often, the job is done. To do this, consider a broader audience. This might sound counterintuitive as the natural instinct is to target tightly, but combined with the performance focus of digital, this is a left-right knockout combination.

The last thing to consider, but is incredibly fundamental for all FMCG brand marketers, is what the brand stands for. These days, you need more than just a great product – you need to think about how you make it, how you look after your team, and how your organisation is contributing to wider community issues. Consumers today are significantly more likely today to back brands that stand for something.

Here are some brands who have recently showcased great work that aligns with these elements:

In partnership with Crayola, Kellogg’s produced a black and white version of its packaging that consumers could colour in to win an old-fashioned Crayola set. With this nostalgic competition, the twist was via an entry mechanic where entrants would bring their artwork to life with an AR activated experience. Fun and integrated, this was both enjoyable and risky, which is a great combination.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition

In collaboration with Adopt a Pet, Hill’s Pet Nutrition addressed the never-ending job of finding homes for abandoned pets via Messenger. Creating their own dynamic sticker pack which was automatically updated as homes were found, users could see pets actually in need of adoption. This tapped into likeability by doing something socially impactful and leveraged the inherent shareability of the platform – because let’s face it, the internet was created for cat and dog memes!

Coca Cola

Arguably one of the most distinctive brands in the world, Coke brought ASMR from audio to the print world with its “Try not to hear this” campaign. In these ads, Coke simply leveraged the strength of its brand assets and unlocked the emotional sensations we’ve all had when we open a bottle of Coke – that anticipation and sense of refreshment.


Linking the brand to music that people listen to when they’re enjoying a drink, the Smirnoff Pure Sounds Like campaign collaborated with local Kiwi musicians and the public to help curate playlists that reflected the sounds of their suburb via their favourite tunes. This is one of our recent pieces of work at YoungShand that we’ve loved seeing consumers get involved with.

So, in order to develop a great brand, we need to target broadly and create emotional, likeable communications with ownable distinctive brand assets. Being distinctive and winning at the point of sale is critical – packaging needs to stand out and communicate the brand’s essence in the supermarket aisle, in that moment of truth. If you can do this and emotionally link your distinctive brand assets from communications to shelf, then you can get your brand to move.

By Duncan Shand, Co-founder and Managing Director, YoungShand

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