Power of Advertising: 5 Popular Ad Campaigns

Anna Peck

Businesses need to realize the power of advertising when it comes to their own advertising and marketing strategies. Read through how some popular advertising campaigns led to recognition and more for several well-known businesses. Discover how your business can replicate some of their strategies and tactics. 

Creating awareness. Conveying new information. Enhancing credibility.

These are just a few of the ways a great advertising campaign can impact your business. 

For any company looking to promote their services or products, a well-thought-out advertising campaign can significantly strengthen their reach, customer base, and ROI. 

The advantage of advertising campaigns is that your business can promote the same idea or message across multiple channels while remaining fresh and timely. 

The power of advertising has continued to grow as marketing and advertising channels have evolved. 

History of Advertising

Advertising is everywhere you look. While early advertising dates back to the colonial period in the U.S., the medium as we know it became more prevalent in the 1900s as newspapers began circulating, new product offerings like department stores began taking shape, and the rise of broadcast radio took effect. 

Businesses began using basic advertising tactics in their promotions and invested in other avenues to keep ahead of the competition. 

According to GMU, “Since the 1920s, American advertising has grown massively, and current advertising expenditures are eighty times greater than in that decade. New media-radio, television, and the Internet-deliver commercial messages in ways unimaginable 80 years ago.”

While much has changed over the years, the overall goal of marketing has remained the same—to reach and convert prospects into paying customers.

5 Types of Advertising 

Advertising comes in many shapes and forms – the five most common advertising mediums are:

  • Digital advertising
  • Print advertising
  • Broadcast advertising
  • Outdoor advertising
  • Direct mail advertising

What is the most powerful form of advertising?

Businesses find that the most powerful form of advertising is through client referrals. It is also a great benefit to companies of all sizes. 

According to Duct Tape Marketing, "People who are referred to a business tend to spend more money. Research has proven this beyond the shadow of a doubt, and it is likely because people tend to refer others who are highly qualified and not just tire kickers or price shoppers."

The power of advertising is also showcased with highly credible organizations and campaigns.  

For businesses looking to improve their advertising strategies, learn from these five advertising campaigns that showcase the power of advertising. 

Power of Advertising: 5 Popular Ad Campaigns

1. Nike: Just Do It

Consumers all over the world are aware of the swosh associated with Nike and its products. While the brand’s “Just Do It” slogan has an unsavory history, it came at the perfect time. 

During the winter of 1987, Nike was in their biggest slump, and their team quickly noticed that they were alienating a potential customer base.

Nike primarily focused on targeting elite athletes - males, in particular. 

Nike was able to use the power of advertising to awaken a generation. With obesity becoming a growing issue in American society, the team at Nike took advantage of the fitness craze. 

By marketing to the average American, Nike was able to increase their sales and appeal. The company, in recent years, has also touched upon more social issues that impact everyday Americans. 


While creating an advertising campaign that stretches generations, Nike has been able to motivate customers through their simple message. 

2. Coke: Share a Coke

What is the best way to appeal to individuals? Slapping their name on a bottle.

In 2011, the Share a Coke campaign began in Australia when Coca-Cola began personalizing each bottle with the most popular names in the country. Shortly after, the U.S. followed.

With a simple gesture, Coke was able to dive into a sense of belonging and ownership that most average people crave. 


The craze grew so much that Coke now has the option for customers to request their own personalized products. If you can’t find your name, the campaign encourages you to “share a Coke” with someone else that has a personalized bottle or can. 

Coke used the power of advertising to create personalization with a timeless product. 

3. Procter & Gamble: Thank You, Mom

As a household and cleaning products company, P&G was able to create a sense of nostalgia by connecting their ad campaign in 2016 to the memory of your mom waking you up from school.

In their “Thank You, Mom” ad, P&G explores the role of supportive moms that pushed their children to become Olympic athletes. As they drove their kids to practice and watched them compete, they likely used P&G products to wash uniforms and power equipment. 


Despite being a timely ad for the Olympic games, P&G identified a message and story that impacts people no matter when they view it. 

By using everyday situations in a larger context, P&G uses the power of advertising to showcase a universal story front and center. 

4. Always: #LikeaGirl

During the 2015 Super Bowl, Always, a feminine products brand, ran an ad that hit close to home for many and played against a stigma.

Using women (and men) in different stages of life, the director prompted actors in the advertisement to act out what it means to perform an action “like a girl.” The younger girls in the advertisement showcased their best attempts and didn’t take it as a negative. 


The inspiring message of the advertisement was clear – girls, particularly during puberty, are just as capable as boys. This is also a stage of life where young women begin using Always products.

The campaign has seen tremendous success – and it is now an initiative and social media movement still used today.

Always uses the power of advertising to acknowledge the personal challenges of their audience while reflecting on a specific time within our culture. 

5. Chipotle: Back to the Start

To promote their food production philosophy and sustainability, Chipotle crafted an animated video campaign that showcased the journey of a farmer who turns his farm into a massive company in a polluted urban environment. 

The farmer realizes he needs to “go back to start” by living a life of sustainable farming. 


The ad, complemented by a Willie Nelson cover of “The Scientist,” aired during the 54th Grammy awards. 

Chipotle used the power of advertising to raise awareness about the disadvantages of food production while showcasing to their audience that they’re concerned about their health and well-being. 

What Companies Can Learn From The Power of Advertising

To have great success, companies need to understand the power of advertising. By learning from the selected campaigns in this article, companies can find ways to leverage their own resources to create advertisements that promote awareness, create an emotional appeal or feeling of nostalgia, reflect everyday life, and more. 

By connecting their services and products to universal messages, companies of all sizes can use advertising to their advantage. 

Looking for a reputable advertising agency to launch your campaign? Browse our list of the top companies in that field. 

Additional Reading


Anna Peck

Senior SEO Specialist at Clutch.co
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