26 Brand Birthday Campaigns Worth Celebrating

Birth­days are one of the year’s biggest moments for brands. Here’s how some top glob­al brands have cel­e­brat­ed mile­stones in their his­to­ry.

Lisa Lacy By Lisa Lacy. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Our list includes some of the most icon­ic glob­al brands and the breadth of their cel­e­bra­tions runs the gamut from new ad cam­paigns and spe­cial pro­duct releas­es to inter­ac­tive walks down mem­o­ry lane and/or exe­cu­tions that seek to con­nect con­sumers over shared brand love. Here’s how 26 brands, young and old, have cel­e­brat­ed mile­stones in their cor­po­rate his­to­ry:


Happy 10th, Facebook!

Birthday Facebook with credit to onlinesocialmedia.net

Image cred­it: onlinesocialmedia.net

Year: 2014

Cel­e­bra­tion: CEO Mark Zucker­berg marked the occa­sion with a post about the com­mu­ni­ty he built, as well as his plans for Facebook’s next ten years. The Social Net­work also treat­ed users to per­son­al­ized Look Back videos, which pulled in con­tent like pho­tos, sta­tus­es and life events.


Happy 15th, JetBlue!

Birthday JetBlue

Year: 2015

Cel­e­bra­tion: The 15-year-old air­line unveiled its newest plane design, which it ded­i­cat­ed to its 16,000 crewmem­bers and was embla­zoned with a word cloud of what it calls “the val­ues they share as they go above and beyond every day inspir­ing human­i­ty,” includ­ing: safe­ty, car­ing, integri­ty, pas­sion and fun.

In all our Jet­Blue cities, there are amaz­ing sto­ries of crewmem­bers going above and beyond to help our cus­tomers and one anoth­er,” said Mike Elliott, senior vice pres­i­dent of peo­ple, in a state­ment. “This plane with our val­ues proud­ly dis­played across the fuse­lage is a trib­ute to all Jet­Blue crewmem­bers, the best in the indus­try, who take our mis­sion to inspire human­i­ty and make it real every day.”


Happy 20th, eBay!

Birthday eBay

Year: 2015

Cel­e­bra­tion: For its 20th, eBay cel­e­brat­ed with 20 days of new deals. It also released an updat­ed app and is send­ing its 20th Anniver­sary Airstream trail­er to San Fran­cis­co, Den­ver, and New York to “[bring] deals direct­ly to shop­pers,” which, nat­u­ral­ly, includes prod­ucts for $20.

Jan­ice Pol­lard, senior mar­ket­ing man­ager at dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing agen­cy Hel­loWorld says this kind of cam­paign gives exist­ing fol­low­ers new rea­sons to vis­it the site every day, but also a way to encour­age new fol­low­ers to be a part of the fes­tiv­i­ties, too.

Many of our clients use the­se types of pro­mo­tions as a way to cel­e­brate mile­stones, like cor­po­rate anniver­saries,” Pol­lard says. “It’s an effec­tive way to excite con­sumers about the over­all brand name and what the next birth­day will bring.”


Happy 20th, Infiniti!

Birthday Infiniti with credit to MediaPost

Image cred­it: Medi­a­Post

Year: 2009

Cel­e­bra­tion: Inifiniti’s 2oth birth­day cel­e­bra­tion report­ed­ly includ­ed a new mar­ket­ing cam­paign with home­page takeovers, behav­ioral tar­get­ing on auto­mo­tive web­sites, and a sneak pre­view of TV cre­ative on social media sites with con­tent that, per Medi­a­Post, fur­thered the brand’s iden­ti­fi­ca­tion with Japan­ese art and design.

 



Happy 20th, Old Navy!

Year: 2014

Cel­e­bra­tion: When it turned 20, Old Navy invit­ed con­sumers to sub­mit self­ies to its Self­iebra­tion machine, which then dis­played the con­sumers’ like­ness­es on a 15-foot wall with 1,000 bal­loons.


Happy 25th, Nike’s Just Do It!

Birthday Nike

Year: 2013

Cel­e­bra­tion: The ath­let­ic brand took the occa­sion of its icon­ic tagline’s 25th birth­day to launch a new cam­paign, “Pos­si­bil­i­ties,” which it said “inspires view­ers to push their lim­its and strive to reach new goals through a vari­ety of play­ful sce­nar­ios fea­tur­ing an all-star cast of ath­letes and guest stars,” such as NBA MVP LeBron James, ten­nis icon Ser­e­na Williams, FC Barcelona’s Ger­ard Pique, and box­ing star Andre Ward.

In addi­tion, the brand said dig­i­tal and social media acti­va­tions helped view­ers to #just­doit through a series of Nike+ chal­lenges. A new chat fea­ture allowed friends to encour­age each oth­er and share tips. Run­ners could also check a live leader­board to track pro­gress and see where they ranked among their friends.

For 25 years, we’ve been inspir­ing peo­ple to Just Do It,” said Davide Gras­so, Nike’s glob­al chief mar­ket­ing offi­cer, in a state­ment. “With ‘Pos­si­bil­i­ties’ we’re tak­ing ‘Just Do It’ to a whole new place, show­ing peo­ple a new way to set goals and think about their own ath­let­ic poten­tial, then help­ing them to achieve those goals through prod­ucts, ser­vices, and inspi­ra­tion.”


Happy 30th, Apple Macintosh!

Year: 2014

Cel­e­bra­tion: Mac’s big 3–0 report­ed­ly includ­ed a home­page redesign, inter­ac­tive time­line, poll and video to cel­e­brate the launch of the home com­put­er, which came 30 years pri­or on the heels of the brand’s infa­mous 1984 Super Bowl ad.

For her part, Rebec­ca Brooks, the founder of mar­ket research firm Alter Agents, says brand birth­day cam­paigns like this should offer some kind of ben­e­fit to the cus­tomer.

If you are just toot­ing your own horn, the cam­paign will be for­get­table, or worse, insult­ing to your clien­tele,” Brooks said. “Instead, talk about how you’ve grown with them, like Facebook’s 10th anniver­sary, or how your tech­nol­o­gy has changed their lives, like Apple’s 30th anniver­sary for the Mac, or [tap into] nos­tal­gia, like Oreo’s 100th anniver­sary cam­paign.”


Happy 40th, Starbucks!

Birthday Starbucks with credit to thebrandbuilder.wordpress.com

Year: 2011

Cel­e­bra­tion: Accord­ing to reports, Star­bucks marked its big 40th birth­day by cel­e­brat­ing moments of con­nec­tion with con­sumers. The anniver­sary also marked the launch of a new logo and prod­ucts.


Happy 50th, Ford Mustang!

Getting Older is No Excuse

Year: 2014

Cel­e­bra­tion: Ford cel­e­brat­ed 50 years of Mus­tangs, and their influ­ence on pop­u­lar cul­ture, with ICON50, what the brand called “a unique cam­paign designed to explore cul­ture and inspire Amer­i­cans to embrace the sense of free­dom and adven­ture new expe­ri­ences can cre­ate.”

It includ­ed a sur­vey that found Amer­i­cans val­ue adven­ture more than they demon­strate in real life. As a result, Ford brought togeth­er a group of “cul­tur­al experts” to “iden­ti­fy the next wave of cul­tur­al dri­vers and inspir­ing locales to help encour­age a sense of adven­ture among Amer­i­cans.” The­se experts curat­ed a list of 50 inno­va­tors, as well as a themed dri­ving route.


Happy 50th, Motel 6!

Year: 2012

Cel­e­bra­tion: The brand cel­e­brat­ed its 50th anniver­sary with a new TV spot that reflect­ed five decades of change and con­sis­ten­cy.


Happy 65th, Baskin-Robbins!

Brinks driver R. Mercado locks away the five retiring flavors to be sent to the Deep Freeze. (PRNewsFoto/Baskin-Robbins, Greg M. Cooper)

Year: 2010

Cel­e­bra­tion: To mark 65 years, the ice cream chain retired five fla­vors — French Vanil­la, Apple Pie a la Mode, Super­fudge Truf­fle, Camp­fire S’Mores and Caramel Pra­line Cheese­cake – to what the brand called its “world famous Deep Freeze” to make room for “more inno­v­a­tive fla­vors in the brand’s already exten­sive fla­vor reper­toire.”

The Deep Freeze also includes fla­vors like 1964’s Beat­le Nut, 1969’s Lunar Cheese­cake, and the 1980s’ Miami Ice, as well as Whyte 2K Choco­late Over­load, Can­di-date, 0031 Secret Bond­ed and Bob­sled Brown­ie.

For 65 years, Bask­in-Rob­bins has been known for fun ice cream fla­vors that are reflec­tive of the times,” said Srini­vas Kumar, Chief Brand Offi­cer of Bask­in-Rob­bins, in a state­ment. “Over the decades we have retired some of our icon­ic fla­vors into our Deep Freeze…but nev­er before have five fla­vors gone into the Deep Freeze at one time.”


Happy 75th, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese!

Birthday Kraft

Year: 2012

Cel­e­bra­tion: For its 75th birth­day, agen­cy CP+B rolled out the Old Birds New Tweets cam­paign, in which it turned over Kraft Mac­a­roni and Cheese’s social net­works to two so-called “old birds” who had been eat­ing mac and cheese for 75 years.

They were our tem­po­rary social media man­agers for three days, dur­ing which they tweet­ed, post­ed pictures/videos, com­ment­ed on trend­ing top­ics, RTed and respond­ed to @replies,” a CP+B rep says. “Any­one could inter­act with the two ladies, named Frankie and Dot­tie, by tweet­ing to @kraftmacncheese or using #old­bird­snewtweets. The ladies end­ed up mak­ing 27 YouTube videos. And social posts from the pair reached mil­lions. At the end of four days, they’d gen­er­at­ed 20,000 new Face­book fans for the brand and made it on CNN.”


Happy 75th, Ray-Ban Aviators!

Birthday Ray-Ban

Year: 2012

Cel­e­bra­tion: Cre­ative agen­cy B-Reel says it was tasked with cre­at­ing a street panora­ma show­cas­ing the eight decades since Ray-Ban first intro­duced its anti-glare sun­glass­es to pilots.

We start out in the year of Ray-Ban’s birth, 1937, and chrono­log­i­cal­ly pro­gress up the street to today,” Be-Reel says. “Char­ac­ters, cos­tumes, street fur­ni­ture and pho­to treat­ments pro­gres­sive­ly evolve through­out the decades and take the user on an immer­sive jour­ney in time. By scrolling back and forth, the user is invit­ed to explore the dif­fer­ent eras and dis­cov­er icon­ic details of each decade.”

Con­sumers can click on so-called hotspots through­out to reveal sto­ries from each decade. At the end, users were invit­ed to share their own sto­ries.


Happy 100th, Chevy’s Bowtie!

Birthday Chevrolet with credit to Motor Trend

Image cred­it: Motor Trend

Year: 2013

Cel­e­bra­tion: Chevrolet’s bowtie sym­bol rang in its 100th year with 25 pro­duct launch­es the brand said would help the sym­bol “find new roads around the world despite an orig­in that is still uncer­tain.”

Sto­ries of the bowtie’s gen­e­sis range from co-founder William Durant being inspired by the wall­pa­per design in a Paris hotel to a news­pa­per ad he saw while vaca­tion­ing in Hot Springs, Vir­ginia. Nev­er­the­less, in 1913, Durant intro­duced the bowtie on the 1914 Chevro­let H-2 Roy­al Mail and the H-4 Baby Grand. Per the brand, since then, the bowtie has adorned 215 mil­lion vehi­cles.

The bowtie’s cen­ten­ni­al was marked by new entries, such as the Cruze Clean Tur­bo Diesel com­pact sedan in the U.S. and the Trax small SUV in 40 inter­na­tion­al mar­kets.

The Chevro­let bowtie is rec­og­nized around the world and has become syn­ony­mous with Amer­i­can inge­nu­ity,” said Chevro­let Chief Mar­ket­ing Offi­cer Tim Mahoney in a state­ment. “Whether you’re pulling thou­sands of pounds through rocky ter­rain in a Sil­ver­ado pick­up or com­mut­ing in a Spark EV, Chevrolet’s bowtie will always be at the very front of your trav­els.”


Happy 100th, Hellmann’s!

Birthday Hellmann's

Year: 2013

Cel­e­bra­tion: Call­ing Hellmann’s “one of America’s most endur­ing and icon­ic food brands,” par­ent com­pa­ny Unilever said in a press release that it was cel­e­brat­ing by part­ner­ing with celebri­ty chef Mar­io Batali to take a trip down mem­o­ry lane with a cen­tu­ry of America’s most deli­cious recipes, as well as by build­ing the World’s Longest Pic­nic Table in New York City. The brand also allowed con­sumers to pur­chase spe­cial edi­tion 100th birth­day labels on select sizes of Hellmann’s.

We’re excit­ed to be one of only a few icon­ic brands to cel­e­brate this remark­able mile­stone of turn­ing 100 years old,” said Bri­an Orlan­do, Senior Mar­ket­ing Direc­tor at Hellmann’s, in the release. “Hellmann’s is a major part of America’s cul­ture and culi­nary his­to­ry, and we look for­ward to shar­ing this momen­tous occa­sion with our fans this year.”


Happy 100th, Life Savers!

Birthday Life Savers with credit to New York Times

Image cred­it: The New York Times

Year: 2012

Cel­e­bra­tion: To acknowl­edge what the Wrigley brand called “a cen­tu­ry of shar­ing sim­ple but mean­ing­ful con­nec­tions between peo­ple,” it launched a giv­ing cam­paign, Con­nect for a Cause, in which con­sumers entered codes on spe­cial­ly marked 100th Anniver­sary pack­ages to donate $1 through non­prof­it Just­Give.

The brand also debut­ed a time­line of mem­o­rable moments from its first cen­tu­ry, includ­ing pio­neer­ing adver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing tac­tics like sam­pling and in-store dis­plays.

We’re doing some­thing spe­cial to spot­light the 100th birth­day of Life Savers because we believe our fans deserve it,” said John Starkey, direc­tor of con­fec­tions for Wrigley, in a pre­pared state­ment. “For 100 years, peo­ple have used Life Savers as a token of shar­ing – it’s time to share with caus­es that mat­ter to them.”


Happy 100th, Oreo!

Year: 2012

Cel­e­bra­tion: Dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing agen­cy 360i says it didn’t want to just throw a par­ty for Oreo’s 100th birth­day, it want­ed to start a move­ment and recon­nect fans to “moments of child­like won­der.” Using social, the agen­cy says it did just that, con­nect­ing more than 40 mil­lion con­sumers around the world over their Oreo love and #Ore­o­Mo­ment became world­wide trend­ing top­ic.

For his part, Salman Aslam, CEO of dig­i­tal agen­cy Omni­core, notes the cen­ten­ni­al also includ­ed the launch of the brand’s Dai­ly Twist cam­paign, which, he says, some of his indus­try col­leagues believe set a new stan­dard for mar­ket­ing in the dig­i­tal age.

Play­ing on Oreo’s “twist, lick and dunk” rit­u­al, the cam­paign offered what Aslam calls a “whim­si­cal, humor­ous or eye-catch­ing ad each day that reflect­ed the lat­est hap­pen­ings, pop cul­ture news, mile­stones or cel­e­bra­tions tak­ing place in the world.”

Per Aslam’s fig­ures, the cam­paign had 433 mil­lion Face­book views with a 280 per­cent increase in shares. It also cre­at­ed 231 mil­lion media impres­sions and 2,600 media sto­ries, he added.

In addi­tion, Brooks notes the Oreo cam­paign also helps fur­ther the con­ver­sa­tion because it was spread out over 100 days and oth­er brands look­ing to cel­e­brate birth­days or anniver­saries should fol­low its lead and find ways to extend mes­sag­ing beyond a sin­gle day.


Happy 110th, Harley-Davidson!

Year: 2010

Cel­e­bra­tion: For the 160th birth­day of founder Jack Daniel, the brand released a lim­it­ed edi­tion bot­tle. The brand even has a page on its web­site in which it explains there are no birth records to ver­i­fy pre­cise­ly when Daniel was born, but “it’s cus­tom­ary to cel­e­brate Mr. Jack’s birth­day in Sep­tem­ber.”


Hap­py 165th, Cartier!

Year: 2012

Cel­e­bra­tion: Accord­ing to reports, the French jew­el­er toast­ed 165 years with an ad that brought its clas­sic dia­mond pan­ther to life in “a jour­ney between dream and real­i­ty” in which the brand “decid­ed to cre­ate a cin­e­ma epic focus­ing on its his­to­ry, its val­ues and inspi­ra­tion, its artis­tic and uni­ver­sal scope.”

To date, the three-and-a-half-min­ute spot, L’Odyssée de Cartier, has more than 18 mil­lion views.

Lisa Lacy

Written by Lisa Lacy

Lisa is a senior features writer for Inked. She also previously covered digital marketing for Incisive Media. Her background includes editorial positions at Dow Jones, the Financial Times, the Huffington Post, AOL, Amazon, Hearst, Martha Stewart Living and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

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