Skip to content

Five of the All-time Greatest Sales Gimmicks

The best sales and marketing campaigns are those that are designed for maximum impact: those that live long in our memories and provide a demonstrable return on investment in terms of an uplift in sales. The most successful campaigns run across a variety of media - both in-store and in external advertising - with a consistent message that stands out from the crowd.

With that in mind, here are five of our all-time favourite sales gimmicks - which is your favourite?


1. De Beers: "A Diamond is Forever"

Before this memorable campaign from De Beers, there was no association between a marriage proposal and a diamond ring - it was the diamond brand itself that created this link. It was a clever ploy on their part, creating a brand-new market for a number of their products, and one that still remains just as popular today.


2. Old Spice: "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like"

In 2010, we were treated to television adverts depicting rapid-fire monologues from actor Isaiah Mustafa on the benefits of using Old Spice. The ad quickly became viral thanks to its quirky humour, and led to interactive video campaigns on social media with personalised videos for fans and more, keeping them engaged and massively increasing the brand's social media following.


3. Nike: "Just Do It."

It was in the late 1980s that Nike's now famous slogan came about - it's hard to believe that their target market was formerly mostly marathon runners. When a fitness craze took off, Nike needed to do something to push themselves ahead of major competitor, Reebok. The result? A focus on emotional marketing - getting consumers to push themselves to their limits proved the right tactic, and Nike's sales went through the roof.


4. Volkswagen: "Think small"

This 1960 campaign from Volkswagen had honesty at its core - an honest and upfront brand is one that's more likely to garner consumer trust. At a time when big cars were all the rage (and when German exports still hadn't fully recovered post-WW2), Volkswagen focused on telling it as it is: "You think I’m small? Yeah, I am." No big claims, no bells and whistles - simply a genuine message that took people by surprise.


5. Apple: Get a Mac

From 2006 to 2009, Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign was designed to highlight the benefits of a Mac when compared to a PC. Featuring John Hodgman as PC and Justin Long as Mac, the campaign gently pokes fun at PC while highlighting Mac's benefits without being too overt - the combination of humour and relatability made this campaign truly iconic.

For retailers, one of the best ways to market your business is to create a store layout with furnishings that match your brand image. One that customers will love and find easy to navigate, with a look and feel that is designed for maximum impact. Get these aspects of your marketing right and you'll find your customers coming back time and time again, and spreading word of mouth too - no gimmicks needed. KAS Shopfittings has been trading since 1984. We can help to furnish your store with everything from slatwall panels and shop shelving, to shop counters and grid panel systems.

Previous article The Most Impressive Christmas Window Displays 2017
Next article 10 Ways that Clever Merchandising can Increase Sales