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Daring To Be Different: 5 Marketing Campaigns That Are Outside The Box

Marketing nirvana is so often sought but rarely achieved. Sometimes it is a low-key advertising campaign that is just so different but with a memorable hook that just seems to draw an audience in, and other times it something that creates an instant spark of recognition, often through humour, that makes it a big hit.

Here is a look at five very different marketing campaigns that all achieved critical acclaim and achieved their goal, by grabbing their target audience’s attention.

Austrian Tourist Board

Ski RF

Promoting Austria as a ski destination shouldn’t really be a hard sell when you look at the amazing scenery of the place, but there is plenty of stiff competition with a plethora of other European destinations also trying to persuade skiers to visit their slopes instead.

The Austrian Quiz Taxi was an innovative marketing campaign that has just come to an end by the time you read this. It involved a special liveried taxi working its way around the streets of London and anyway hailing this particular cab, could then win the chance of a free ski trip to Austria in a taxi!

Even if you didn’t win the prize because you couldn’t answer where the infamous Black Mamba run was in Austria, or another equally challenging question, you were still alerted to the charms of this great ski destination. As raising awareness go’s by thinking outside of the box, the Austrian Taxi campaign definitely worked.

Internet giant uses print medium

Taxes computer

Net-a-Porter is a very successful online fashion store and a good example of using modern communication methods to engage with their customers.

Whilst circulation figures for a lot of magazines have been in steady decline due to the perception that everything you want to read is now online, Net-a-Porter thought they would dare to challenge that thought and launch a glossy fashion magazine.

It seems that creating your own publication doesn’t have to be considered an old-school way of engaging with your customers, as their magazine already has a wider circulation than the well- established Newsweek publication.

Personal touch

When you are a true internet behemoth like Microsoft, it is relatively easy to lose touch with some of your customers and hard for consumers to experience a more human and personal aspect of the business and the people that work there.

Microsoft Stories definitely redresses that balance, with a series of well written but not overly promotional, stories about different projects that Microsoft has been involved with. It has become a popular and appealing way for the company to showcase its work in a way that seems to bring this large corporation down to a more personable communication level.

Tapping into our love of animals

Dog pet RF

It is quite hard to play the cute animal card in marketing without appearing cynical in your motives, but Uber managed to find a way that seemed to work.

The car request company decided to celebrate National Cat Day in the U.S by delivering kittens to offices in places like New York and San Francisco for 15 minutes of playtime, in return for a donation of $20 to various charities.

The campaign was so popular that Uber actually ran out of kittens and generated a lot of blog posts and tweets, which demonstrates that it was a successful marketing strategy.

Game of Thrones parody

HootSuite deserves a place in the list for their online video that parodied the popular Game of Thrones.

The video was chock-full of clever in-jokes about certain social media sites and it has become widely shared online, as people try to see how many of these witty observations and jokes they can spot.

Achieving a strong grasp of what your target audience wants to see and presenting it in a way that gets you remembered by being different, is the aim for many campaigns.

Daring to be different and thinking outside of the box, can reap great rewards.

Edward Daniels is a digital marketing consultant. He enjoys researching the latest marketing techniques and sharing his findings through blogging. His articles mainly appear on small business and marketing blogs.


  1. Thanks for sharing all of these amazing marketing campaigns! I love it when companies get very creative.

    • You’re welcome McKenzie, glad you enjoyed the post! I agree, I love it when companies think outside the box to really connect with the public in a fun and engaging way, and we’re starting to see some really unique campaigns!

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