The best marketing campaigns of 2022: Part 1

From Boots to McDonald’s to Netflix, the Marketing Week team reveals the first eight campaigns that make up our best of 2022.

BBC – #ThisIsOurBBC

Few institutions can boast the achievement of reaching their centenary year. The BBC chose to mark its 100 years of public service broadcasting in 2022 by shining a spotlight on the shows, characters and personalities who have defined the broadcaster’s creative identity over the decades.

The ‘#ThisIsOurBBC’ campaign shows snippets of archive footage featuring the likes of comedy creation Alan Partridge, Drag Race star Ru Paul and legendary broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.

Describing the BBC as a “unique experiment”, the campaign shows off the sheer variety of content, from Saturday night favourites like Strictly Come Dancing, to documentaries, lessons from BBC Bitesize and classic comedy such as The Office and The Vicar of Dibley.

The #ThisIsOurBBC campaign is designed to convey what it means to be a public service broadcaster, using a mix of TV and social to bring the story to life. According to BBC figures, the TV spots reached 62% of adults and 39% of 16- to 44-year-olds, via a mixture of 120-second, 90-second and 40-second cuts. The creative reached 2.3 million cinemagoers from January to February, while YouTube and paid social achieved 4.9 million views.

The team used the original #ThisIsOurBBC premise to create later iterations focusing on different strands of programming, including news coverage from inside the war in Ukraine.

Speaking on the campaign’s launch, chief customer officer Kerris Bright described the film as part of a wider strategy to demonstrate how central the BBC is to UK culture. Crucially, the centenary comes in a year when the government considered freezing the broadcaster’s funding and even abolishing the licence fee altogether.

While acknowledging it is essential to debate the BBC’s role as a national broadcaster, Bright believes the corporation plays a role in people’s lives “like no other media organisation”. CR

Boots – ‘Summer Better Be Ready’


It’s always tricky to follow up a campaign that’s been a runaway success. That’s the problem Boots faced this year when launching its 2022 summer campaign, with CMO Pete Markey telling Marketing Week it was like creating “the difficult second album”.

But rather than shy away from the challenge, Boots attacked it head on, with ‘Summer Better Be Ready’ becoming its biggest summer push to date. Indeed, the marketing budget for the brand’s 2022 summer drive was 20% higher than 2021’s ‘Feel Good as New’ campaign.

It was also the first campaign to be launched as part of the ‘With you. For life’ brand platform unveiled at the beginning of the year, which reflects the retailer’s new purpose: ‘We serve our customers’ wellbeing for life’.

Boots worked closely with partners The Pharm and VMLY&R on the campaign, while also using System1 to pre-test the TV ad. Putting the pursuit of effectiveness first, the brand removed a scene from the ad its marketers loved, but that was failing to resonate with consumers.

The result? A return on investment of £2.50 for every £1 spent, according to Markey, who said this beat 2021’s ROI of £2 for every £1 spent. The brand also managed to hit all “key” metrics for the campaign, including buzz, salience, relevance and value for money perception, alongside the belief in consumers that Boots has everything they need. Summer Better Be Ready also drove the retailer’s biggest ever sales for its own-brand sun cream Soltan. MI

The best marketing campaigns of 2022: Part 2

Chase – ‘Rewarding Banking’

Source: JP Morgan

Digital bank Chase only launched in the UK just over a year ago, but already the JP Morgan-owned brand has 1 million customers. To put that growth into perspective, it took Starling Bank eight years to get to its current 2.4 million customers, while Monzo took seven years to reach 5.8 million.

As of October, the bank claimed to hold £10bn in UK customer deposits, with saver accounts holding an average of £27,000.

Core to the brand’s success has been its through-the-line ad campaign, first launched in March this year. Voiced by Scottish actor David Tennant, the hero ad introduces Chase’s status as a trusted bank in the US, where it already serves more than 60 million households as a retail banking chain.

The campaign also highlights the bank’s rewards system and customer service credentials, and has run in various iterations across linear and digital TV, YouTube, broadcaster video-on-demand, and digital out-of-home for the past nine months. Overall, the brand has made itself almost impossible to ignore.

In terms of ad recall, the campaign was “very successful” for Chase, CMO Deborah Keay told Marketing Week earlier this year. The brand quickly moved ahead of other challenger banks on the metric, and began to encroach on the bottom third of the “incumbent” retail banks.

Unaided awareness, consideration, and trust metrics have all improved too, and customer feedback has been “great”, Keay added.

The CMO’s claims stack up well against data from YouGov’s brand health tracker. According to BrandIndex, Chase’s overall brand health improved from a score of 0.5 in February (prior to the campaign’s launch) to a score of 5.2 in October.

Ad awareness rose from a score of 1.7 to 11.6, while brand awareness has jumped from 23.3 to a score of 46. Consumer impression of the brand has also improved (from 0.5 to 5.7), as has its quality perception (0.4 to 5.7), value perception (-0.5 to 3.9), and score for consideration (2.6 to 9.3). MJ

Elvie – ‘Leaks Happen’

Despite strides made in recent years when it comes to spotlighting and championing women’s health, taboos around urinary incontinence seem to prevail. However, this year saw female health and tech brand Elvie put the spotlight on urinary incontinence in a very literal way.

Elvie’s ‘Leaks Happen’ campaign featured a ‘peeing’ billboard and mother of two, Megan Burns, weightlifting. The London billboard was put up just two weeks after TikTok banned a video on Elvie’s profile showing a woman leaking urine while weightlifting. It classified the ad as “graphic” content.

The brand worked with PR agency Don’t Cry Wolf and out-of-home specialists Kinetic to pull off the activation. According to Don’t Cry Wolf, the peeing billboard drove a 93.5% increase in the conversation around incontinence on social media.

Meanwhile, the campaign video was viewed more than a million times and Elvie witnessed a 109% uplift in Google searches for the brand during the campaign launch week.

Ad awareness also increased for the brand, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex, with its score increasing from 0.1 in February 2022 to 1.4 in June. Elvie also saw an uplift in brand awareness, from 22.5 in February to 26.7 by May. MI

Here We Flo – ‘#NoMorePeriodDrama’

Here We Flo was founded four years ago with a core mission: to disrupt the period, bladder and sexual wellness markets with its organic and vegan products, while challenging the stigma and shame that surround these bodily functions.

With its products now available on the shelves of popular UK retailers, the brand is taking steps to accelerate its growth. This year it launched its first TV ad, funded by the Grand Prix £1m prize it was awarded by the inaugural Sky Zero Footprint Fund.

Created with agency Hatch London, ‘No more period dramas’ offers a tongue-in-cheek take on the classic British period TV drama. Centred on a dinner table hosting high society men and women, the onset of one woman’s period triggers a lively discussion about organic tampons, while the men look aghast.

Speaking to Marketing Week earlier this year, Here We Flo co-founder and CEO Tara Chandra said the brand’s strategy is to “make people laugh”, and it appears to be paying off. Kantar’s The Works study identified the ad as the most creatively effective on TV in April for its potential to drive both long- and short-term growth.

The spot scored within the top 5% of all ads in the UK on distinctiveness, and in the top 15% for differentiation, the study revealed. It also scored in the top 25% for creating the sense it is setting trends, and the top 30% for persuasiveness.

Though only a small scale test to begin with, Chandra said the launch of the ad prompted a number of retailers and partners to reach out about stocking Here We Flo products. Brand awareness increased and overall sales tripled in 2022.

The ad is set to air again early next year on a national scale, supported by a wider campaign across out-of-home and social. MJ

The best marketing campaigns of 2022: Part 2

LinkedIn – ‘Follow In Her Footsteps’

With a goal to champion a more equitable world of work, sponsoring the largest women’s sporting event in European history felt like a natural next step for LinkedIn.

The professional networking site was inspired to partner with this summer’s Euros tournament after seeing a “huge increase” in the number of sporting professionals sharing stories on the platform.

Running across outdoor and digital channels, the ‘#FollowInHerFootsteps’ campaign kicked off with a launch film featuring rare archival footage of women’s football through the generations.

LinkedIn put Carol Thomas, the first captain to lead England to a Women’s Euros tournament in 1984, at the heart of its campaign.

Thomas walked the 30-miles from Crewe’s Mornflake Stadium, the site of the first Euros game in 1984, to Old Trafford where the tournament kicked off in July to a sold-out crowd. She was joined on the walk by Crystal Palace star Chloe Morgan, the first captain of the Somali women’s national team Iqra Ismail, England’s Rachel Yankey and retired Swedish footballer Anette Borjesson.

As part of the campaign push, LinkedIn encouraged women to discuss the role models who have inspired them and worked with several players to help build their profiles, offering best practice tips, content ideas and one-to-one sessions.

According to UK head of brand marketing Zara Easton, LinkedIn’s Euros sponsorship “surpassed” expectations, not just in terms of viewership but also the “richness of discussion” around the importance of female role models on and off the pitch.

The #FollowInHerFootsteps campaign delivered more than 100 million impressions over two weeks and drove a significant increase in brand love, LinkedIn reports, part of what the platform describes as the wider “seismic shift” in attitudes to women in sport. CR

McDonald’s – MyMcDonald’s UK launch

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski declared in October that marketing is “starting to show up” as a driver of growth for the fast-food chain. He said marketing has been helping to make the brand “more relevant” and “more recognisable” to customers. And a key factor in that has been McDonald’s acceleration in digital and investment in the MyMcDonald’s loyalty scheme, which launched across the UK in July following a six-month trial period.

McDonald’s originally launched the programme in the US, racking up 21 million active members in the first six months, with Kempczinski stating “loyalty is the single biggest driver of digital adoption”.

The loyalty scheme, which is only available via the MyMcDonald’s app, enables UK customers to earn 100 points for each £1 spent, which can then be exchanged for menu items. For 1,500 points the rewards include a mini McFlurry or a hash brown, 2,500 points can be traded for a Double Cheeseburger; while 4,000 points can be exchanged for a Big Mac or six Chicken McNuggets. Points can also be converted into a cash donation for charity.

The fast-food chain enlisted TV personality Rylan Clark to introduce the first phase of the UK scheme via a YouTube video in January. The pilot launched across 10 locations in and around Liverpool, before an additional 65 restaurants were added which, according to McDonald’s director of digital Karl Boyce, had a “massive impact”. The nationwide roll out followed, with the brand successfully recruiting 3 million active members in the first three months alone.

McDonald’s has built on this initial success, with a raft of exclusive app offers helping to drive adoption.

Overall, McDonald’s generated nearly $7bn (£6bn) in sales through digital channels in its top six markets – of which the UK is one – in the third quarter alone, with the loyalty scheme significantly helping to drive digital take up. LT

Netflix- Stranger Things season four

Not only has Netflix introduced advertising to its platform for the first time this year, it has also been the year where the brand has shone through its own marketing. Notably through its promotional campaign for the fourth season of Stranger Things.

There was already a considerable amount of hype around the next release of the science fiction show in May 2022, given the previous season had been released almost three years earlier.

Netflix deployed a campaign which utilised experiential marketing to capitalise on that hype.

For example, in May the brand put up out-of-home posters for fictional products in the Stranger Things universe, with a phone number to call, which led to a bizarre voicemail. Then in the following days people in hazmat suits arrived, installing a tent around the OOH activation. Eventually a “portal” opened up, which led to an immersive experience for fans of the show to enjoy.

The streaming service also enlisted cartoonists to create short series, ‘A Stranger Morning’, which re-enacted scenes from the previous three seasons of the show via illustration.

This campaign was one of the first carried out by new CMO Marian Lee, who took over in March 2022. However, it was hailed by co-CEO Ted Sarandos as Netflix’s “best campaign to date”. It propelled Stranger Things season four to become Netflix’s highest watched English-language series ever. According to Nielsen, the series amassed 7.2 billion minutes of watch time in a single week, the highest for any series on the streaming platform.

During a time when the streaming service had been seeing subscriber growth falter, Sarandos also identified the campaign as the most impactful “single thing”, which drove better-than-expected results in the period. NC

The best marketing campaigns of 2022: Part 2