In a world full of content overload, customer loyalty is critical. And when you feel a strong connection to a brand, you’re more likely to stay loyal, purchase more products or services and recommend it to a friend. And that’s not to mention that it’s a lot cheaper to keep existing customers than it is to cultivate new ones. The following campaigns highlight how brands broke the rules to create meaningful connections.

Duo the Own

There’s been a recent shift on social media, where users prefer to be entertained by brands rather than being sold a product. With the help of a giant green owl, that’s exactly what Duolingo’s social team has accomplished. The company has been able to elicit interest in its product by connecting with the target audience’s TikTok behavior.

Acts of Substance
Planters, VaynerMedia

Kraft was looking for Planters to have a different kind of connection with its customers: It hoped to forge bonds that have a little more sustenance than previous ones. So instead of running a $5 million Super Bowl spot, the snack brand gave that money away to people who truly deserve it. This helped them generate more meaningful content while also connecting with consumers around moments that matter.

The Reverse Selfie
Dove, Ogilvy

Dove is on a mission to combat the harmful impact selfie culture has on young women. The company’s Reverse Selfie campaign spoke directly to an audience who knows all too well the harmful impact social media can have. While Dove is not selling a product here, the brand connected to its target audience by starting an important conversation about what real beauty is.

Spotify Wrapped

Each year Spotify releases Wrapped — a personalized retrospective where listeners get a deep dive into their most memorable listening moments of the year. The campaign is simple, engaging and highly shareable. By allowing users’ listens to become part of the narrative, Spotify is able to connect with audience members while simultaneously turning them into brand advocates.