Case Study: Social Anxiety Disorder Campaign by SmithKline Beecham

In 1987 Eli Lilly and Company won U.S. approval to sell Prozac, the first among a class of drugs called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) that treated clinical depression by elevating levels of serotonin–a chemical believed crucial to regulating mood–in the brain. Prozac’s effectiveness and lack of side effects compared to existing medications for depression revolutionized not only the way mental illness was treated by psychiatrists but also the way it was perceived by the public. By 1992, when Pfizer and SmithKline Beecham introduced their own SSRIs, Zoloft and Paxil, respectively, depression had lost much of its stigma in the United States. In the following years SSRIs became one of the best-selling prescription drug categories. For its first several years on the market, Paxil remained in third place among SSRIs, and SmithKline Beecham set its sights on new markets for the drug. In the mid-1990s Paxil won FDA approval forContinue reading

Case Study: Apple iMac Ad Campaign

In the late 1990s technology analysts speculated that Apple Computer, Inc.’s fate hinged on its new personal computer the iMac. Apple’s share of the worldwide desktop-computer market had plummeted since 1995, the last year the company had been profitable. Ever greater numbers of consumers were buying personal computers (PCs) that ran on Microsoft’s Windows operating system rather than Apple’s version. Although Apple had pioneered user-friendly computers, the company had not introduced a consumer-targeted computer since 1992. Hoping that its stylish new iMac would propel Apple back into this vast segment of the market, Apple released its iMac ad campaign. The iMac ad campaign consists of a series of seven television commercials. These commercials advance Apple Computers newest generation of personal computers: the iMac. The iMac is a personal computer that is an AIO unit (All In One) and is housed in a translucent white and green case. Apple has attemptedContinue reading

Case Study: American Express “Do More” Advertising Campaign

American Express had built its reputation as a prestigious charge card. In 1976 the company began its famed ‘‘Do You Know Me?’’ campaign in which celebrities ranging from dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov to puppeteer Jim Henson appeared in ads that pictured them and an AmEx Green Card bearing their names. In 1987 the ‘‘Portraits’’ campaign followed a similar formula. By aligning the brand with stars, AmEx cultivated the notion that carrying one of its cards was more akin to joining an elite country club than making a financial transaction. As later ads sniffed, ‘‘membership has its privileges.’’ In the 1980s, however, AmEx’s careful positioning began to backfire. According to Brandweek, while AmEx ‘‘clung to its old, elite ways,’’ the credit card industry went through monumental changes. With so many cards vying for consumers’ attention, Visa and MasterCard (specifically, the member banks that comprised the Visa and MasterCard consortia) began to cross-marketContinue reading

Corporate Branding Case Study: ‘Power of Dreams’ Campaign by Honda

In 2002 Honda Motor Company was the number-three Japanese automobile manufacturer in the world, behind Toyota and Nissan. While Honda’s automobile sales in Japan and the United States were considered strong, sales in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe were thought to be weak, even though automobile production in the United Kingdom had been ongoing for a decade. Further, Honda vehicle sales had been declining in these regions since 1998. In response to these problems Honda hired ad agency Wieden+Kennedy London office to create an advertising campaign that would directly address the issues. ‘‘The Power of Dreams,’’ released in 2002, was an omnipresent campaign in the United Kingdom and beyond, using television, direct mail, radio, posters, press, interactive television, cinema, magazines, motor shows, press launches, dealerships, postcards, beermats (coasters), and even traffic cones. It built upon Honda’s company slogan, ‘‘Yume No Chikara,’’ which was first endorsed in the 1940s byContinue reading

Case Study: The Body Shop’s Ruby Ad Campaign

In 1976, when the cosmetics industry was making exaggerated claims about scientific advancements in skin care, Anita Roddick opened a store, The Body Shop, in a seaside town on the southern coast of England. Her product line, based on natural ingredients and age-old beauty secrets from Polynesia and the Amazon rain-forest, was a vast departure from the patented laboratory-created, animal-tested products that promised to stop the aging process, eradicate dark circles under the eyes, and otherwise correct a woman’s flaws. The products were plainly packaged, and they were not tested on animals and not promoted through extravagant advertising campaigns. Her company’s refusal to test products on animals, along with an insistence on non-exploitative labor practices among suppliers around the world, appealed especially to upscale, mainly middle-class women, who were and have continued to be the company’s primary market. Part of the secret of The Body Shop’s early success was thatContinue reading

Case Study: Seinfeld Ad Campaign by Amex

American Express is a global, diversified financial services company headquartered in New York. The company is over 150 years old, founded in 1850. It is best known for its credit card, charge card, and travelers check business, but has numerous ancillary operations that are profit centers. On of the key factors in the improvement of American Express in the market is the continual thrust of its brand. Beginning in the 1960s American Express distinguished itself for two decades with several highly acclaimed campaigns. Advertising Age included two 1970s American Express campaigns (‘‘Do You Know Me?’’ and ‘‘Don’t Leave Home without It’’ featuring Karl Malden) on its list of the ‘‘50 Best Commercials.’’ The 1988 print campaign featuring photos of famous card members by Annie Leibovitz was a finalist for the book Advertising’s Ten Best of the Decade 1980—1990. But in 1990 AT&T Corp. disrupted the general purpose credit card marketContinue reading