5 Examples of Digital Marketing



The Internet is abundant with digital marketing success stories. It’s only a matter of keeping up-to-date about the most talked about sensations on social media platforms and the digital space.

There’s no need to look far to see great digital marketing in action. Every time a brand goes viral on social media, content creators and news outlets will almost pick it up. At that moment, half of that company’s digital marketing strategy will have been fulfilled – that of brand awareness.

That said, you don’t want your brand to be known for the wrong reasons, and stories about them are just as many. Mention Pepsi and Kendall Jenner in the same sentence to a digital marketer, and they’ll be more than happy to explain why that ad flopped spectacularly.

But this blog post isn’t about digital marketing failures (they warrant their own post in the future) but rather successes. In no particular order, here are the best digital marketing examples: everything you can learn from brands that went viral for all the right reasons.

1. Share a Coke by Coca-Cola

You’re hankering for an ice-cold Coke, so you go to the nearest store to pick up one. But imagine your surprise when you notice the bottle bearing your name or the name of one friend or relative on the label, encouraging you to “share a Coke” with them. I’d probably be prompted to share one if it bore my brother Tristan’s name.

That’s the power of Coca-Cola’s highly successful multinational Share a Coke campaign. It picked out 250 of the most popular names in a country (later 1,000 and included generic nicknames) and slapped them randomly on millions of Coke cans and bottles. While the social media campaign is long over, you might still stumble across some of these personalised Cokes.

Apart from increasing Coke consumption worldwide, the digital marketing campaign created a social media storm that lasted for a decade. In its first year, about half a million photos on social media platforms had the hashtag #ShareaCoke. The brand’s official website and Facebook page also saw an exponential increase in traffic.

What Can We Learn?

Marketing teams and marketing professionals will agree that Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign is a prime example of good digital marketing. While the “Share a Coke” campaign thrived on social media, Coca-Cola smartly leveraged traditional marketing methods to create a foundation for the digital buzz.

By personalizing bottles with names, they aimed to connect with their target audience on a deeper level, fostering a sense of community and encouraging social sharing with the hashtag #ShareACoke. This digital strategy successfully reached new customers through user-generated content and boosted brand engagement through viral social media marketing.

Personalization can be a powerful marketing asset. After COVID, more consumers expect brands to converse or transact with them on a personal level. According to McKinsey, this approach helps drive repeat engagement. People buy from a brand, buy again if necessary, and recommend it to others who’ll start their own engagement cycles.

2. Rebuild the World by Lego

Four years before its 90th anniversary, Lego launched its “Rebuild the World” digital advertising campaign, its first since the 1980s. It involved physical and digital marketing channels to promote playtime’s significance in building close bonds with family members and the community.

Described by company executives as its most ambitious online marketing campaign at the time, Rebuild the World was all about celebrating creativity and imagination. Through multiple digital marketing efforts, including a film about a rabbit outwitting its hunter, Lego hoped to urge children and adults to embrace life’s infinite possibilities and create something never before seen.

Four days after the social media campaign’s debut, X (still known as Twitter at the time) exploded with roughly 100,000 mentions of the hashtag #RebuildTheWorld. Coupled with coverage by multiple media outlets, positive sentiment for the brand increased by 35%.

What Can We Learn?

Lego’s “Rebuild The World” campaign is a great example of using digital marketing strategies to enhance brand image. They leveraged social media campaigns and great content across digital channels to reach their target demographic. Lego used social media posts featuring imaginative builds and challenges to inspire creativity and connect with potential customers, showcasing the limitless possibilities of Lego bricks.

The campaign is a good digital marketing example of how a brand’s message can be crafted to deliver a stance on an important matter. In this case, it was all about innovation, never stopping to discover novel ways of doing things. The message is consistent with a brand that allows people to create stuff with a bunch of bricks.

3. The Man Your Man Could Smell Like by Old Spice

Male grooming brand Old Spice was in a precarious situation in the 2000s. Unless it could prove to its parent company, Procter & Gamble (P&G), that it was worth keeping, it was at risk of being sold off like the other hygiene brands before.

The solution: get ex-American football wide receiver Isaiah Mustafa to star in a few quirky and hilarious half-minute ads. This series of videos became known as “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” and its video marketing success led to Old Spice remaining a P&G brand to this day.

Source: Old Spice (via YouTube)

While these commercials originally aired on TV, they also found fame in the digital world. The titular YouTube video, first uploaded in 2010, currently has over 60 million views. One comment went that the online advertising campaign came when “the Internet really started to get weird but very funny.” Additionally, it was the subject of various parodies in movies.

What Can We Learn?

It doesn’t hurt for quality content to be humorous, and you don’t have to be a dedicated comedian to do so. A funny ad will be the talk of the town, let alone one that captures the nature of its target audience. Sure, Mustafa riding a horse backward is so random, but thanks to that quirk, consumers now associate it with Old Spice.

Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign stands as a phenomenal content marketing example in digital marketing campaigns. The hilarious commercials thrived on YouTube channel and other digital platforms, reaching a wider audience than traditional media.

By embracing humour (and a touch of absurdity), the campaign resonated with prospective customers and sparked conversation. This creative approach by a digital marketing agency proved that digital marketing assets and great content can be both entertaining and effective in reaching new audiences or a target demographic.

4. Will it Blend by Blendtec

You’d probably wince at the sight of a factory-fresh iPhone being obliterated to pieces by a blending machine, but you’d be surprised how many people will pay to see it. For blending machine manufacturer Blendtec, YouTube is the perfect platform to show how powerful their line of blenders is.

In 2006, Blendtec founder Tom Dickinson created and hosted “Will It Blend?” He and his crew put just about everything short of the kitchen sink in their blenders, from an ungodly mix of cooked chicken and Coke to a brand-new iPhone 12. Across 187 videos uploaded over 14 years, there were only eight items the machine couldn’t blend.

As of this writing, the channel’s last video – blending car key fobs – was back in 2020. No one’s sure why they stopped, but it nonetheless had left a lasting impact. In an interview back in 2009, Dickinson said the company posted significant sales days after the series’ debut. The channel is still accessible, having amassed over 860,000 subscribers.

What Can We Learn?

Blendtec’s “Will it Blend?” campaign is a masterclass in turning a simple marketing strategy into a viral sensation. By uploading videos of their blenders pulverizing everything from iPhones to golf balls, they utilized social media advertising and engaging social media posts to capture attention. This is classic textbook marketing, letting your product or service speak for itself. Nothing satisfies consumers’ curiosities or provides peace of mind better than a live demo showing your product or service’s qualities.

The campaign not only expanded Blendtec’s customer base but also proved that even small businesses can achieve massive exposure through creative digital marketing. This unique approach, together with search engine optimization, can fuel search engine marketing success, as curious viewers become potential customers.

5. Ice Bucket Challenge by the ALS Association

Rounding up this concise list is an outlier, as the advertiser here is a nonprofit. The ALS Association, a US-based organisation dedicated to funding research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), wanted to find a great way to increase public awareness of said health condition. It’s deadly, with one dying from it every 90 minutes.

In 2014, it initiated the Ice Bucket Challenge, where one would be dumped with a bucket (or any sizeable container) of ice-cold water and nominate another person to do the same. Not everyone performed the Ice Bucket Challenge; instead, they donated to the ALS Association.

Throughout the campaign, the ALS Association reported 17 million participants worldwide (including celebrities and famous personalities) and an increase in ALS research funding by 187%. More importantly, the increased funding allowed researchers to identify a dozen additional genes linked to ALS, bringing them a step closer to effective ALS management.

What Can We Learn?

The ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge became a social media phenomenon thanks to its clever use of digital marketing. By encouraging participants to film themselves dumping ice water over their heads and nominating others to do the same, the campaign spread organically through social media posts and influencer marketing.

The challenge’s light-hearted nature and focus on user-generated content fuelled a surge in search engine queries, with “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” dominating Google search results and blog posts. This massive online PR and presence not only raised awareness of ALS but also significantly boosted donations, exceeding the campaign objective and demonstrating the power of viral marketing for social causes.

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