Culture and trends

Round Up | January's Best Marketing Campaigns

Written by
Published on
February 15, 2023
Last updated
May 9, 2024

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New year, new campaigns!

It might be February (where did the time go?!), but we’re officially settled into 2023, and it’s already time to turn back the clock. Yes, January might be a month that few want to re-visit, but don’t worry – we promise we’re only bringing back the fun stuff. In this blog, we’ll share some of our favourite campaigns from January, discuss why they resonated with Gen Z and what your brand can learn as a result.

Let’s get stuck in…

McDonalds #RaiseYourArches Campaign

Healthy resolutions for Gen Zers across the world went out the window by mid-January this year, thanks to McDonalds’ campaign #RaiseYourArches. Kicking off from January 16th and ending on January 29th, lucky diners had the chance to get £5 of free food (all done via the app of course!).

McDonalds launched a ‘feel good’ nostalgic eighties commercial, which saw co-workers sharing an unspoken moment that prompted them to leave the corporate behind, and head to the golden arches. You can check it out below (we can’t promise it won’t make you hungry...).

McDonalds engaged Gen Z in the best way possible with this campaign – through a branded lens, of course! Users took to Instagram and Snapchat to trial a filter that raised their eyebrows in a testament to the beloved golden arches. The hashtag #RaiseYourArches was also used to generate online buzz.

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SKIMS x The White Lotus Campaign

Let’s be clear: Gen Z LOVES The White Lotus (and so do the critics, judging by the 20 Emmy nominations!).

A satirical dark comedy poking fun at the upper class, the show stars huge names, all beloved by Gen Z, including Jennifer Coolidge and Theo James. And, unsurprisingly, marketing queen Kim Kardashian has hopped on the show’s popularity and launched a Valentine’s Shop collection with stars Simona Tabasco and Bea Granno, marketing them as real life best friends and wearing limited edition bras and underwear. This campaign encourages all the Galentines to hang out together in their SKIMS. We know that Galentines is just as important to many Gen Zers as the romantic/traditional Valentine’s Day, and Kim K’s new launch plays perfectly into this. SKIMS are also experts at centering around cultural moments, so this really was a match made in heaven.

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Tarte Heads to Dubai

TikTok-influencer trips are becoming more and more popular - just look at Jack Wills’ recent holiday with some of the UKs most beloved Gen Z content creators. Last month, Tarte invited 50 of TikTok’s beauty and lifestyle influencers on a trip to Dubai to launch their new foundation, and the internet couldn’t stop talking about it.

The invitation was sent out to popular influencers such as Alix Earle, who is known for her ‘Get Ready With Me’ videos, Meredith Duxbury (who boasts a massive 16 million TikTok followers) and Monet McMicheal, who grew her popularity through lifestyle blogging. During the trip, each woman used (and showcased) a range of Tarte products to their online communities.

The influencers posted exciting content in Dubai while using the Tarte products, all giving the brand some major exposure. In fact, the hashtags #TrippinWithTarte and #TarteDubaiTrip collectively got over 150 million views on TikTok.

Tiffany x Nike

Two powerhouse brand companies, Tiffany & Co. and Nike, announced their collaboration in January to release a new sneaker: the Tiffany & Co. x Nike Air Force 1 Low 1837

Inside the recognisable  Tiffany blue box, shoppers find an all-black suede sneaker, complete with the Nike tick (in Tiffany Blue) on the side and a .925 sterling silver heel tab. Alongside the sneaker will be other products, including a shoe brush, shoe horn, whistle, laces, and tags, all following the classic Tiffany silver look.

The cost of these Air Force 1 sneakers will be launched at $400 – affordable compared to the typical cost of Tiffany jewellery – but undoubtedly still a stretch for many. This next-level sneaker is to be released on March 7th, and there’s already major buzz surrounding it thanks to the brands’ active promotion of the partnership. Just a day after the collaboration had been announced, the NBA posted on their story a video of LeBron James walking in Madison Square Garden wearing the unreleased sneakers.

Aldi's Plant Menu

For a few years now, January has been dubbed ‘Veganuary’, encouraging healthier and more sustainable eating. Since this, there’s undoubtedly been a significant increase of plant-based alternatives in food stores and restaurants to appeal to the increase of those environmentally-friendly diners. This sits well with sustainability experts Gen Z - in fact, Student Beans’ insights agency Voxburner recently revealed that 7% of the generation are vegan and 34% are trying to eat more ethically.

For the new year, Aldi has launched a larger range of vegan food under their Plant Menu. The prices remain as affordable as ever, starting from just 99p, with a diversity of options that includes pulled ‘pork’, duck and of course, some vegan nugs.

These quick-fix meals with low prices are perfect for Gen Z. Gen Z are more money-savvy than other generations, with the cost-of-living crisis causing them to choose products based on their price point alone. Vegan options unfortunately don’t always come cheap – so Aldi’s commitment to affordability is a big win for young consumers looking to eat greener for a cheaper price. Other brands have noted the commercial potential here too, with brands such as Krispy Kreme, Burger King, and Dominos releasing vegan alternatives.

We'll let the numbers do the talking – last year, Aldi’s Veganuary campaign was a major success, with their plant-based sales increasing by 500%!

Love Island Couples Up With Boots

Boots is the undisputed queen of the sought-after Love Island beauty partnership. In January, Boots was announced as Love Island’s official “Feel Good” beauty partner for its new winter season (a partnership secured for the third time, no less!). 

Boots launched a 360 creative integration as part of this campaign, called “Find The One”, which sees the branded #FindTheOne hashtag used across social channels. This campaign is a clever way that mimics the parallels between finding the right match (whether that be a human or a beauty product!). Boots has shared exclusive content to a new TikTok channel, capitalising on the show’s digital first viewership.

Boots has posted short videos of Gen Zers giving tutorials using makeup, ads promoting the partnership products and even a Benefit Bundle giveaway that received over 7,000 comments in less than a day. They’ve also posted promotional videos on their YouTube Boots UK, including a ‘get unready with me’ routine with Islanders Tanya and Olivia. We love to see it!

Thanks to Gen Z’s obsession with Love Island (not only just the show, but the cast members themselves), we predict great success for this campaign. 

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