Welcome back to the Challenger of the Month for August. We took a short break last month because of the shortage of good challenger campaigns. The good folks of Adland were on holiday. It was a real case of feast and famine after the Cannes Festival in June.
This month we have a decent selection. First up is a campaign for the Open University in the UK. It is that time of year when the schools and colleges re-open and thoughts turn towards education and career advancement. In Ireland, the marketing of third level education is still in its infancy with most campaigns adopting a testimonial style and showing students how they can succeed if they enrol for college X. The Open University’s previous campaigns fell into this pattern. With this new campaign they are not just challenging the sector, they are also challenging their own established brand position.
When you think of campaigns for organ donors you tend picture kind hearted do-gooders signing up to help other less fortunate people because it’s the right thing to do. The hero of our next challenger is nothing like that. He is the world’s biggest asshole and proud of it.
Dunelm is a home furnishings retailer in the UK. They sell everything from matching sofas to scented candles. And from the look of their website they seem to be a middle of the road brand. Their new campaign is a great example of a challenger thinking. Like all great challenger campaigns they ruthlessly focused their message and their offer to one target market segment – students. Here is a selection of their ads from this campaign. As well as being clever they are short (which saves on media) and executed in one scene with no featured actors (which saves on production).
And finally, we liked this new spot from IKEA (admittedly not strictly a challenger brand). They are, never the less, challenging the conventions of their own advertising as we don’t see one single piece of their furnishings featured throughout.
Until next month.