4 of the Best Media Advertising Examples in 2021 (So Far)

The COVID-19 pandemic certainly brought marketers a plethora of new advertisement narratives. Along with the ‘we’re in this together’ messaging, fashion brands turned to producing trendy face masks, health companies advocated the significance of washing your hands, and transportation businesses preached the importance of wearing a mask while using their services. 

Now that we’re seemingly reaching the beginning of a post-COVID-19 landscape, it’s difficult for advertisers to understand what good media advertising should look like. It has left marketers waiting for big brands to take the lead as businesses aren’t sure whether to address the pandemic or to avoid the COVID news fatigue. Many advertisers are just looking for inspiration.

While we aren’t all the way through 2021, this year has already proven to have lots of memorable and enjoyable advertisements that have embraced the ability to tell stories beyond the pandemic. With that in mind, let’s jump into the four of the best media advertising examples this year.

1. Nike – Play New | CTV and Online Video

Source: Nike

Great media advertisements are often ones that tell a good story, are relatable, evoke emotion, and have a clear message. Nike’s CTV and online video ad for their ‘Play New’ campaign is the perfect blend of those qualities. The Nike campaign strives to portray the message that everyone has an athlete inside of them.

In the ad, Nike highlights the challenges, but also the importance of getting out there and trying something new. The YouTube description includes the note “Nike strives to bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete”. 

This strong messaging about being adventurous, even though failure is a potential, stands out because failure is a topic not often breached by Nike. By seeing Dina Asher-Smith, world champion sprinter, try her hand at golf and fail, viewers are given permission to step outside of their comfort zone and try something new. 

Having a diverse cast of athletes and actors also allowed Nike to be relatable to viewers ranging in demographics. Depicting a variety of ages, genders, body types, and ethnicities gives a large audience a chance to see themselves in the storytelling. This long-form CTV and YouTube creative ad capitalizes on Nike’s ability to tell meaningful stories that resonate with users and keep the brand at top of mind. 

2. Mercedes Benz – #MBStarChallenge | Paid Social, TikTok

The next brand that started their 2021 advertising efforts with a bang, needs no introduction: Mercedes Benz. The luxury car manufacturer was trending on TikTok for their Hashtag Challenge. The ‘#MBStarChallenge’ encouraged TikTokers to re-envision and re-create their iconic brand logo in their own, unique way. 

Source: TikTok

Whether participants were dancing, drawing a new logo, or creating it with a touch of magic, this challenge allowed TikTokers to get creative with the chance of their entry being featured on official Mercedes Benz social channels. Mercedes Benz leveraged popular influencers, a bespoke catchy soundtrack, and a branded hashtag to drive awareness and engagement to their challenge. 

Capitalizing on TikTok’s use of hashtags is a particularly interesting approach, especially for brands that are aiming for virality. Hashtags ‘trend’ when they are used widely by creators seeking to bandwagon on the success and further push the hashtag through the ranking algorithm. The more people using your hashtag, the more viral your content becomes. 

This campaign leveraged high-impact branded takeover ads in conjunction with in-feed ads as an additional touchpoint. The flashy branded executions, combined with the in-feed and native influencer content, broadened Mercedes Benz’s platform recognition and propelled the success of their campaign. As a result, their ad recall rate increased by 66% while simultaneously improving their brand favorability by 18%. By trending on TikTok, Mercedes Benz was able to develop a strong brand connection with Gen Z and Millennials. 

3. Waterloo – Influencer Content | Paid Social, TikTok

TikTok partnerships enable brands to reach and engage with a younger audience at a higher frequency. They also allow you to easily capture new audiences’ attention with an authentic storytelling approach. 

Waterloo Sparkling Water’s TikTok partnership with @marley.makes.things is a refreshing example of native influencer content done right. In this TikTok, Waterloo leverages a popular creator to make their advertisement feel more approachable and thumb-stopping. By utilizing a known creator, the consumer is less likely to notice or even care that they are watching an advertisement. Nothing is more annoying than having your entertainment interrupted with an advertisement, however, this Waterloo TikTok creative is informative and entertaining at the same time. 

Studies have shown that TikTok ads utilizing creators will get two times the engagement compared to other types of creative assets. Partnering with a creator or influencer on TikTok gives the consumer a greater sense of trust, which will eventually result in positive business returns. 

4. Jameson | Display, Cross Network

Having a strong call to action combined with captivating high-resolution imagery is key in any successful media advertising campaign. Both of which, Jameson demonstrates beautifully in their whiskey display banner. Additionally, this banner ad was placed on a contextually relevant food blog, which aligns the product with the user’s current mindset, consumption. 

Jameson partnered with Drizly, an alcohol and spirit home delivery service, and included their link as the call to action. By including this Drizly link, Jameson can capitalize on impulse purchasers and home delivery service users at the same time. 

Source: Drizly

What Makes Goods Ads Great

All four of these advertisements stand out in a memorable way and share many commonalities. They utilize the power of storytelling, with a clear call to action for the consumer. Whether your next steps are to join a TikTok challenge or to check out a sale, the consumer should have a clear direction of what action you’d like for them to take.

The more detail added to a story, the stronger and more memorable a message becomes. With the Nike ad, the message was clear as day: go try something new and don’t be afraid to fail. While in the Mercedes Benz example their message was not as obvious, yet still strong: be creative and rethink your way of viewing things. Obvious message or not, it’s important that your ad tells a story to your audience.

Nike, Mercedes Benz, Waterloo, and Jameson all had some of the best media advertising examples of 2021, so far. With a hint of storytelling and a strong call to action, your brand’s advertisements can be just as memorable and successful. If you need additional resources for your media advertising, reach out to Booyah’s team of media experts!

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