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It is even inconvenient to write “Genius lies in simplicity”, “Brevity is the soul of wit” or to use other quotes about simplicity as these are too cliche-like. However, this is exactly the thing to be discussed.

Marketing is great because it allows using a huge amount of tools. Beautiful graphics or footage, precise targeting of digital campaigns, personality of a celebrity advertising the product, native advertising, big data, etc. – each of these elements can explain marketing success. The strategy, in-depth market analysis and marketing research are the must for many types of product or consumer groups. BUT! often a simple idea and, excuse my pathos, a wise one may turn to be as effective.

1) 2015, the American Football League Super Bowl, absurdly expensive advertising time – car brands spend USD 60 million a day. Volvo launched no advertising, but held a lottery in Twitter with one new XC 60 crossover as the main prize. Any person seeing the advertisement of another car brand could retweet it adding #volvocontest tag and indicating a friend or relative who would participate in the lottery.

The result was 50,000 tweets in 4 hours, users admired solution, media just forgot about all other car companies, cost of media coverage for Volvo reached USD 200 million, and the next month sales of XC 60 grew by 70%.

2) 2017, Burger King shot video in the format of Stop Bullying social experiment. In it, 95% of visitors started defending their rights because of a spoiled burger, and only 12% stood up for a schoolchild bullied by his/her age-mates. It was a simple comparison aimed at raising a social problem and making think. Of course, the cost of making this video for the brand was purely nominal and it was published on Youtube. As a result, more than 4 million views and a big plus to the brand karma.


3) 2017, Ukraine. DEC education platform shot the video “Old Things and Modern Children” , which already reached more than 2 million views on Facebook. It's an outstanding result, especially given that it has been shot on a smartphone and the idea of children+old things has been used on Youtube for more than a year.


4) 2011, the company Dollar Shave Club was established in the United States. In contrast to Gillette and other branded razors, the new company proposed regular delivery of a monthly supply of simple unbranded blades under subscription. The insight was as easy as a pie – a consumer didn't want to remember such trifles as buying blades, he wanted to throw away old blades and to get the most simple but sharp ones. In 2016, Unilever corporation acquired DSC for USD 1 billion.

5) 2013, the market for jewelry and knick-knacks is overfilled with players having different sizes, styles and pricing tiers; despite this, a new company, Lokai, silicone bracelets producer, was established in the United States. Their story became their main feature – their bracelets includ one element filled with water from the highest point of earth (Everest) and one element with mud from the lowest point (the Dead Sea). These should remind a highly successful person of modesty and a failing person - of hope. In 4 years Lokai started selling in almost half of the countries of the world, and a lot of celebrities, such as Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber etc., became company's sincere admirers.

It's true that we live in the age of AR/VR, algorithms and artificial intelligence, but the beauty and effectiveness of simple ideas used in marketing, advertising, PR and in business in general can never be overestimated.

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