5 campaigns in which creativity made a real difference

"Creating for the sake of creating is just a waste of time and money”, Kenny Vermeulen, our Creative Director, stated in the first episode of our podcast series ‘Difference Talks’, in which he engages in a lively conversation with Vic Dresen, Marketing Manager at Burger King. And every marketer will agree. “We may not forget that, fundamentally, advertising was called into being to sell products or services." But awards and sales are not mutually exclusive. To prove so, Kenny will highlight five inspirational campaigns that won awards and made a difference!

1. The Moldy Whopper - Burger King

Vic already mentioned it briefly in the episode, but the Moldy Whopper is one of the most crazy ideas we’ve ever seen in advertising. Our endless respect for the marketer who probably risked his job approving it!

In the campaign, we see The Whopper, also known as the signature hamburger of Burger King, that is expiring little by little until it becomes … really gross. It goes up to 34 (!) days. And ‘what a difference a day makes’, as Dinah Washington would sing. But the visuals represent a 100% natural burger - unlike the 20-year-old McDonald's burger. With this advertisement, Burger King made a solid attempt
to change the entire fast food industry by taking the first step towards eliminating preservatives in their food. Or as the tagline would say: it’s ‘the beauty of no artificial preservatives'.


This bold move was very risky, yet well received by the media.
And the numbers don’t lie:

  • Quality ingredient perception: + 26% 
  • Visitation consideration: + 22.8% 
  • Whopper sales: + 14% 
  • Earned impressions: 2.9 billion 

Not bad for a moldy burger, right?



2. The Frame - Samsung Benelux

Another campaign that we’d like to hightlight is one of our own: The Frame. To boost its Black Friday sales, Samsung Benelux organized a scavenger hunt on Pinterest - a first on the platform. A simple yet impactful idea!

With The Frame, Samsung Benelux demonstrates that the time when televisions had a purely functional purpose is long gone. This design TV turns into a piece of art when it’s off, displaying the artwork of your choice. To make a fuss over their showpiece, Samsung Benelux hid two ‘Walls of Frame’ on Pinterest in which one artwork was actually The Frame. Those who were able to find the right Pin, subsequently made a chance to win The Frame.



The hide-and-seek on Pinterest turned out to be a tremendous success:

  • Samsung Benelux reached more than 200,000 Pinterest users, with 465 ultimately finding the right Pin and 2 lucky art detectives who won The Frame. 
  • All keywords were trending within the first day. 
  • The campaign had an engagement rate of 1,3%, which is the double
    of the Pinterest benchmark of 0,5%!



3. Swipe Night - Tinder

This groundbreaking campaign is one where creativity, technology, and love meet. Tinder introduced Swipe Night to bring in more Gen Z onto the app. How? By making the swiping even more exciting!

Swipe Night was their first-ever interactive miniseries. As a player, you entered a first-person point of view apocalyptic adventure, where you had to make split-second decisions in order to survive. Do you save the puppy (swipe left) or the person (swipe right)? These high-stakes choices revealed your true colors and were subsequently used to pool you with others who made similar choices. Genius, right?


People’s favorite show was suddenly not on Netflix, but on Tinder.
Was it successful? Judge for yourself:

  • Gen Z loved it, as 6.7 million players joined.
  • Earned impressions: 3.1 billion
  • Twitter activity: + 1640%
  • Matches: + 26%

Swipe Night and Tinder? Definitely a match!



4. Back-To-School Essentials - Sandy Hook Promise

NGOs are famously known for the use of very strong creative messages in hopes of getting tons of earned media. And that’s exactly what Sandy Hook Promise got with their simple yet striking back-to-school essentials.

The campaign highlighted ‘the new normal’ in which American teenagers are being confronted with school shootings, violence, and other harmful acts - now more than ever. The ad starts harmless, as we see a kid who tells that his mom got him the perfect bag for back to school. Suddenly, we see a shift in atmosphere: kids start panicking and we hear shooting in the background. They start to use their back-to-school essentials, such as scissors, not for their original purpose but to defend themselves. That’s how Sandy Hook Promise tries to make the viewer aware that school shootings can be preventable when you know the signs.


Sandy Hook Promise succeeded in their aim,
as the campaign came as a real bombshell:

  • The ad earned over 3.9 billion impressions, which is not bad.
  • And back then, the campaign was shared by 11 presidential candidates.
    Talking about influencers! 



5. The Shoe Surgeon Sneaker Has A Secret - TWIX

When TWIX launched their first significant innovation in years, the Cookies & Creme Bar, they found a unique hook for their launch:
‘cookies and cream’ is also slang for a black-and-white sneaker colorway. It gave them the perfect spark to create a pair of limited edition Air Jordan 1.

In the video, we see Jacques Slade who’s doing another unboxing, only this time sponsored by TWIX. They sent him a quite impressive packaging with a left shoe in one box and a right shoe in the other - a wink to the rivalry between the left and the right TWIX, one being ‘different’ from the other. We see immediately that the outside of the sneakers resembles the packaging of the Cookies & Creme bar. But there’s more than meets the eye: when you cut in the lining of the sneakers, there’s also a resemblance with the filling of the bar. Quite impressive!

The cherry on the cake? In the boxes, there are also extra laces in chocolate, cookie and cream color.


TWIX definitely went the extra mile with these custom-made sneakers, which made it an instant success on reseller platforms:

  • 200 million media impressions
  • TWIX’s most successful innovation ever (6th biggest in category history)
  • reversing franchise decline (+47.2% YoY).

That’s what we like to call a successful innovation!



In a nutshell

Awards and sales can go hand in hand. The formula for success? Think carefully about what you actually want to achieve, both in terms of impact and results. By doing so, you will definitely set things in motion!

Curious to see more creative work? Check out our own campaigns right away.