15 Marketing Case Study Examples With Standout Success Stories

Tomas Laurinavicius
May 16, 2024
15 Marketing Case Studies With Standout Success Stories

Certain marketing campaigns leave a lasting impression. We’ve gathered insights from CEOs and marketing leaders to share one standout marketing case study that resonates with them.

From Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign’s impact to Dollar Shave Club’s viral launch video, explore fifteen memorable marketing triumphs that these experts can’t forget.

  • Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign Impact
  • Oatly’s Bold Brand Strategy
  • RockerVox’s Tax Credit Success
  • Local Bookstore’s Community Engagement
  • Coca-Cola’s Personalized Brand Experience
  • Dropbox’s Viral Referral Program
  • Authentic Influencer Marketing for CPG Brand
  • Airbnb’s “We Accept” Social Impact
  • Amul’s Topical and Humorous Campaigns
  • AXE’s ‘Find Your Magic’ Brand Refresh
  • Squatty Potty’s Humorous Viral Video
  • Old Spice’s Viral Humor Campaign
  • Red Bull Stratos’s High-Flying Publicity
  • Maple Dental’s SEO Success Story
  • Dollar Shave Club’s Viral Launch Video

Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign Impact

One marketing case study that has always stayed with me is the Dove Real Beauty Campaign. It really struck a chord when it launched in 2004, challenging the beauty standards and celebrating women’s diversity. What made it stand out was the “Real Beauty Sketches” video, where women described themselves to a sketch artist. Seeing the stark contrast between their self-perceptions and how others saw them was incredibly eye-opening and touching.

What I found so compelling about this campaign was its message of self-acceptance and empowerment. Dove didn’t just try to sell products; they took a stand for something much bigger, and it resonated deeply with people. Using video storytelling was a genius move as it made the message more impactful and shareable. I believe Dove showed how brands can make a real difference by addressing important social issues in an authentic and meaningful way.

Nicole Dunn, CEO, PR and Marketing Expert, Dunn Pellier Media

Oatly’s Bold Brand Strategy

As a content and brand marketer, Oatly’s brand strategy always inspires me. They are a textbook example of comprehensive brand-building.

Their visual style is instantly recognizable—bold, disruptive, and often filled with humor, making oat milk a statement and something you’d be proud to display on your shelves or socials.

Their tone of voice is witty, sometimes cheeky. They’ve even printed negative feedback on their packaging, which really just shows how they court controversy to spark conversations and enhance their brand’s visibility.

And there’s a strong story behind Oatly, too. They promote sustainability and aren’t shy about their environmental impact, which has simply helped them grow an enthusiastic community of environmental advocates. Clever in endless ways, such that tons of oat milk brands have followed suit.

Wisia Neo, Content Marketing Manager, ViB

RockerVox’s Tax Credit Success

One standout marketing case study that sticks with me is the implementation of our RockerVox Restaurant Bundle, aimed at optimizing cash flow through targeted use of employer-based tax credits. The power of this case study lies in its immediate financial impact on the client, a local restaurant chain that was struggling to keep its doors open in the wake of the pandemic.

By integrating the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and other relevant tax schemes into their payroll setup, we enabled the restaurant to reclaim a significant amount in tax credits. The real game-changer was not just the financial relief but also how it was achieved. We combined this with StaffedUp’s Applicant Tracking System, which improved their hiring processes and decreased employee turnover. This holistic approach led to a sustainable improvement in their operations and cash flow.

What made this case study so great was its tangible results. The restaurant saw a cash flow improvement of over 100%. This wasn’t just a number on a report—it meant being able to invest back into the business, enhance their services, and ultimately, keep their community fed and employed. This approach of integrating technology with financial strategy can be adapted by other businesses striving for similar resilience and growth, especially in times of economic difficulty.

Philip Wentworth, Jr, Co-Founder and CEO, Rockerbox

Local Bookstore’s Community Engagement

Certainly, one particularly impactful marketing strategy I led at FireRock Marketing involved a small local bookstore that was facing steep competition from online retailers. Our challenge was to increase foot traffic and reinforce the store’s brand presence in a highly digitalized market.

We initiated a campaign called “Local Pages, Local Stages,” where we leveraged digital marketing alongside community engagement. The bookstore held monthly events featuring local authors and artists, which we promoted heavily through targeted social media ads, email marketing, and local influencer partnerships. This multifaceted approach tapped into the community’s growing interest in supporting local ventures, enhancing visibility significantly.

The outcomes were remarkable. Over the campaign’s six-month duration, in-store sales increased by 40%, and the bookstore saw a 65% rise in attendance at events, which also boosted ancillary revenue from merchandise and cafe sales. Additionally, social media engagement metrics increased by over 150%, reflecting greater brand awareness.

This case study sticks with me because it exemplifies the power of combining digital strategies with community-based marketing to create a sustainable growth model. It shows how businesses can use holistic, integrated approaches to effectively adapt to new consumer behaviors and competitive landscapes.

Ryan Esco, Chief Marketing Officer, FireRock Marketing

Coca-Cola’s Personalized Brand Experience

A memorable marketing case study is the “Share a Coke” campaign by Coca-Cola. Initially launched in Australia in 2011, this campaign personalized the Coke experience by replacing the iconic Coca-Cola logo on bottles with common first names.

The idea was to encourage people to find bottles with their names or those of their friends and family, creating a more personal connection to the brand. The campaign was an enormous hit and was quickly rolled out worldwide, incorporating more names and even terms of endearment in different languages.

The brilliance of this campaign lay in its use of personalization, which tapped directly into the social media trend of sharing personal moments. People enthusiastically shared their personalized Coke bottles on various social media platforms, significantly amplifying the campaign’s reach beyond traditional advertising media.

This strategy boosted sales and reinforced Coca-Cola’s position as a fun and innovative brand. The “Share a Coke” campaign is a powerful example of how traditional products can be revitalized through creative marketing strategies that engage consumers personally.

Sahil Kakkar, CEO and Founder, RankWatch

Dropbox’s Viral Referral Program

For me, a standout marketing case study that really sticks with me is Dropbox’s referral program strategy back in their early days. By offering free storage space for every successful referral, they incentivized existing users to spread the word organically, resulting in exponential growth at virtually no acquisition cost.

What made this case study so brilliant was how elegantly it aligned product experience with viral sharing. Users had a vested interest in sharing Dropbox since it directly expanded their own cloud storage. This created a self-perpetuating cycle where better product engagement fueled more referrals, which then improved engagement further.

It was an ingenious lever that capitalized on the inherent sharing dynamics of their service to ignite explosive growth. The simplicity and potency of this growth hack is what truly resonates as a paragon of effective guerrilla marketing.

Ben Walker, Founder and CEO, Ditto Transcripts

Authentic Influencer Marketing for CPG Brand

One marketing case study that has always stuck with me was a campaign I led for a major CPG brand a few years back. The goal was to increase awareness and trial of their new line of organic snacks among millennial moms in a crowded market.

We developed an influencer seeding strategy focused on relatable mom micro-influencers on Instagram. Instead of just sending products, we worked with the influencers to develop authentic content that told real stories about the role of snacking and nutrition in busy family life. The photos and videos felt genuine, not overly polished or promotional.

Engagement was through the roof—the content resonated so strongly with the target audience. By the end of the 3-month campaign, we increased awareness by 45% and trial by over 20%. The CPG brand was thrilled, and the case study became an example we still reference today of the power of influencer marketing done right. Authenticity wins.

Airbnb’s “We Accept” Social Impact

One marketing case study that stuck with me was the Airbnb “We Accept” campaign, launched in 2017, focusing on social impact. This response to the global refugee crisis aimed to promote inclusivity, diversity, and acceptance within communities worldwide.

What made this case study remarkable was its ability to leverage the Airbnb platform to facilitate connections between hosts and displaced persons, providing them with temporary housing and support.

Airbnb demonstrated its commitment to using its platform for social good and making a tangible difference in the lives of those in need. This aligned with its mission to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.

At the end of the day, Airbnb’s “We Accept” campaign was a compelling case study showing brands how to address social issues, promote inclusivity, and drive positive change in communities worldwide.

Peter Bryla, Community Manager, ResumeLab

Amul’s Topical and Humorous Campaigns

One standout marketing case study that sticks with me is the “Amul” marketing campaigns by Amul, the iconic Indian dairy cooperative, make for excellent and impactful case studies as well. Here’s why Amul’s marketing stands out:

The Amul Girl – The mascot of a mischievous, friendly butter girl has become one of India’s most recognizable brand icons since her inception in 1966. Her presence on topical ads commenting on the latest news and pop culture trends has made Amul’s billboards a long-standing source of joy and relevance.

Topicality – Amul’s billboards and newspaper ads are renowned for their topicality and ability to humorously comment on major events, celebrity happenings, and political developments within hours. This real-time marketing has kept the brand part of daily conversations for decades.

Humor – The not-so-secret sauce is the brilliant use of puns, wordplay, and satirical humor that Amul consistently delivers through the eyes of the Amul Girl. The healthy, inoffensive jokes have earned a cult following.

Longevity – Very few brands can boast an equally iconic and successful campaign running for over 50 years, still keeping audiences engaged across multiple generations. The long-running property itself has become a case study in sustaining relevance.

Local Connect – While achieving pan-India recognition, the puns often play on regional language nuances, striking a chord with Amul’s Gujarati roots and building a personal connection with local consumers.

The impact of Amul’s long-running topical billboard campaign is unmatched—it has not only strengthened brand recognition and loyalty but has also made the cooperative a beloved part of India’s popular culture and daily life. Creativity, agility, and contextual marketing at its best!

AXE’s “Find Your Magic” Brand Refresh

Axe (Lynx in the UK) had created a problematic brand image from past marketing efforts. Their focus on ‘attraction is connected to conquest’ hadn’t dissuaded men from buying their deodorants, but had a toxic effect on perceptions of women. Research conducted on brand equity showed that brand equity was declining, with this perception of the brand aging poorly and desperately needing a refresh to continue allowing the brand to be relevant for the future.

That led to a superb partnership with creative agency 72andSunny Amsterdam. Unilever was able to tap into an entirely new philosophy for its brand:

Empower men to be the most attractive man they could be – themselves.

With that idea in mind, 2016 saw the launch of the AXE ‘Find Your Magic’ commercial, a stunning celebration of the diversity of modern masculinity. The campaign also saw the release of a new range of premium grooming products and a supporting influencer marketing campaign featuring brand ambassadors, including John Legend.

While not all parts of the creative were successful, the campaign drove more than 39 million views and 4 billion media impressions in the first quarter after the launch. But most critically, AXE saw a 30+% increase in positive perception of their brand.

This campaign will stand the test of time because it combines several important and brave initiatives:

  • A forward-thinking mentality that the brand image you have today may not be suited for a future world
  • A broader understanding of what your customer base looks like – women also play a big role in men’s choice of deodorant
  • A big and bold attempt to change the way your brand is perceived – and succeeding with flying colors.

Yannis Dimitroulas, SEO and Digital Marketing Specialist, Front & Centre

Squatty Potty’s Humorous Viral Video

One standout marketing case study that sticks with me is the campaign for Squatty Potty. The brand created a humorous video featuring a unicorn pooping rainbow ice cream to demonstrate the benefits of using their product. This unconventional approach garnered widespread attention and went viral, generating millions of views and shares on social media platforms.

The success of this campaign can be attributed to its creative storytelling, humor, and shock value, which made it memorable and engaging for viewers. By thinking outside the box and taking a risk with their messaging, Squatty Potty was able to create a unique and effective marketing strategy that resonated with consumers.

This case study serves as a reminder that creativity and originality can set a brand apart in a crowded marketplace, ultimately leading to increased brand awareness and customer engagement.

Carly Hill, Operations Manager, Virtual Holiday Party

Old Spice’s Viral Humor Campaign

The Old Spice ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ campaign remains etched in my memory. Its brilliance lies in its humor and creativity. By featuring a charismatic spokesperson and employing absurd scenarios, it captured viewers’ attention and went viral.

The campaign seamlessly integrated across platforms, from TV to social media, maximizing its reach. Its cleverness and entertainment value made it unforgettable, setting a benchmark for engaging marketing strategies. The case study showcases the importance of storytelling and humor in capturing audience interest and driving brand awareness.

Red Bull Stratos’s High-Flying Publicity

A marketing case study that has made a lasting impression on me is the Red Bull Stratos Jump. This campaign was for Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking jump from the edge of space, sponsored by Red Bull. The goal of this campaign was to create buzz and generate brand awareness through this extreme event.

The reason why this case study stands out to me is because of its successful execution in capturing the attention and interest of not just extreme sports enthusiasts, but also the general public.

The live broadcast of Baumgartner’s jump on various channels and social media platforms garnered over 52 million views, making it one of the most-watched live events ever. Red Bull’s strategic use of real-time marketing, storytelling, and high-quality visuals made this campaign a huge success, resulting in a significant increase in sales and brand recognition for the company.

This case study serves as a great example of how a well-planned and executed marketing campaign can effectively reach and engage with a wide audience.

Brian Hemmerle, Founder and CEO, Kentucky Sell Now

Maple Dental’s SEO Success Story

One standout marketing case study that resonates with me is the SEO transformation for Maple Dental. This campaign dramatically improved their local online visibility, leading to a substantial increase in new patient appointments. The integration of Google Maps SEO proved to be a game-changer, emphasizing the power of local search optimization in attracting nearby clients.

What made this case study exceptional was the measurable impact on the clinic’s business. For instance, the campaign led to a 230% increase in phone calls and a 223% increase in website visits. Such clear, quantifiable results showcased a direct contribution to business growth. These metrics are vital for demonstrating the return on investment in digital marketing efforts.

Additionally, the use of a targeted approach to enhance Google Maps visibility was particularly compelling. By optimizing their presence on Google Maps, Maple Dental saw a 250% increase in monthly maps impressions, which directly correlated with increased patient inquiries and visits.

Dollar Shave Club’s Viral Launch Video

One case study that always comes to mind is Dollar Shave Club’s launch video in 2012. It was called “Our Blades Are F*cking Great,” and let’s just say it got people talking! This video was hilarious and totally different from those fancy shaving commercials we were used to seeing. It spoke directly to guys, poked fun at expensive razor prices, and offered a way to get awesome blades for much less.

Additionally, it told everyone to check out their website. It was short, catchy, and made a huge impact. This is a perfect example of how a creative and funny video can grab attention, make people remember your brand, and get them to become customers.

Perry Zheng, Founder and CEO, Pallas

Tomas Laurinavicius

Hi! I'm Tomas, a founder, writer, designer, growth marketer, and web developer from Lithuania, now happily living in Alicante, Spain. I'm a marketing advisor at Devsolutely and a partner at Craftled, where we're building Best Writing and Marketful. I'm happiest when learning and building stuff, and I love connecting with curious people.