The year 2021 is slowly coming to an end. It would be hard to think of a better time to summarise what has been happening in the world of Polish marketing over the past 12 months. Marketers have had to learn to adapt to a rapidly changing and unpredictable reality and to customers who have changed many of their shopping habits under the influence of the ongoing pandemic. Which brands managed to cope? See our subjective list of the most interesting marketing campaigns in Poland 2021!

Table of contents:

  1. Koral brand and Ekipa Ice Cream
  2. Reserved brand for Generation Z
  3. Warka and the world of gaming
  4. Natural advertising for YES jewellery
  5. Monopoly and Ciechanów City Hall
  6. CANAL+ and the series “The Office PL”

1. Koral brand and Ekipa Ice Cream

Friz and Ekipa is an absolute pop-culture phenomenon that has literally taken over the Polish Internet. Friz (Karol Wiśniewski) is currently one of the most popular Polish YouTubers. Together with a group of friends, he forms the so-called Ekipa, with whom he not only makes films but also takes up more and more daring marketing challenges. It is hard to deny their business creativity – their cooperation with the biggest brands (Polish and not only) is usually almost a guarantee of a huge success of a campaign they contribute to. Their main target are Polish children and teenagers – that is why most of their co-operations focus on promoting products targeted at the youngest audience groups. 

It was no different in the case of Ekipa Ice Creams, i.e. fruit ice cream produced under the banner of Polish ice cream producer Koral, but signed with the Ekipa logo. The ice cream immediately turned out to be a phenomenon and a sales hit, about which the whole world of Polish marketing wrote. The product did not even need a separate campaign – it was enough for YouTubers to mention it on their social media channels and the word went viral. It was not without the original videos of the Team, in which the ice cream “appeared” – shown both as part of their vlog everyday life, as well as prizes in challenges organised by them.

A tip from a Polish advertising agency:

If only your budget allows you, invest in influencer marketing with the biggest, hottest names on the Polish Internet and… give them room to show off. Nobody knows as well as they do what their audience will react to. We wrote about the biggest Polish influencers in a separate article.

2. Reserved brand for Generation Z

2021 was definitely a year in which brands slowly opened up to a new generation of Polish customers, namely generation Z (people born after 1995). This is exactly what the Polish fashion brand Reserved decided to do, launching a new line of clothing aimed at young people – RE.DESIGN. In the collection, several different fashion trends collided: from vintage, through streetwear, to cottagecore.

The collection was created in cooperation with twelve ambassadors of the brand, belonging to generation Z. However, what drew our attention was not so much the creation of the line, but the way of its promotion. The promotion was accompanied by a 360 campaign that combined augmented reality and gaming. A mobile game appeared on Facebook and Instagram, in which users escaped from the sad emoticons that were the icons of the campaign. Worth mentioning, the company donated £300,000 to help young people deal with the psychological effects of pandemic-related isolation. 

A tip from a Polish advertising agency:

Generation Z is a specific target that requires a completely revolutionary approach to marketing. Reserved perfectly fitted not only into the lifestyle of its young audience (games), but also used their natural language. Advertisements for the youngest generations often tend to be artificial and “youthful” by force. If you want to avoid this, the people designing your campaign should include real representatives of the target group. 

3. Warka and the world of gaming

We’re still on the subject of campaigns aimed at Poland’s Generation Z (but this time only at adults). Polish beer producer Warka has also done its homework – and done it with a bang. The result of this lesson is its entry into the world of gaming. The company has created its own Warka Planet of Gamers platform with a distinctive visual identity, drawing on the aesthetics of video games. As part of it, the Warka Planet of Gamers Cup tournament was organised.

Eight Polish creators were invited to participate in the tournament (Luure, Piranhasawa, Kromka, Gluhammer, Kuben, Fangotten, Człowiek Warga and Pago). They were transported to the world of Planet Warka, where common activities, training and the grand final awaited them. The tournament was commentated live in a special studio. The tournament could be watched online on a dedicated website, on the Planet of Gamers channel on YouTube, on channels of tournament participants, and on YouTube and Twitch of the event’s partner – Polsat Games.

A tip from a Polish advertising agency:

It is hard not to notice the dynamically growing power of video games and influencers associated with gaming. As the example of Warka shows, a brand does not have to be associated with the gaming market. However, elements of gamification (i.e. using game mechanisms in marketing) can also be used in less spectacular ways than creating your own game – loyalty programmes with points to collect or a dedicated application with the possibility to compete with friends can also bring excellent sales effects.

4. Natural advertising for Yes jewellery

A year ago, we blogged about a very unsuccessful campaign by the jewellery manufacturer Apart, which was widely criticised for being unnatural, lacking realism and not matching the ad to reality. This year, in the area of marketing, a jewellery brand campaign also stands out – but this time it stands out on the plus side. It concerns the Yes brand campaign, which was crowned with the advertising spot “I am a woman”. Instead of celebrities (as in the case of last year’s Apart commercial), there appeared women-heroes, such as the rower and Olympic vice-champion Katarzyna Zillmann accompanied by her girlfriend 74-year-old model Christina Flagmeier, cancer prevention educator Aleksandra Wiederek-Barańska, showing her scar after a mastectomy in the commercial.

The campaign is accompanied by the manifesto: “YES to strong, independent and courageous women”. Despite the fact that some TV stations did not allow the spot to be aired, the advertisement resonated in the marketing world and won the hearts of potential female customers in Poland. The spot has now had over 1 million views on YouTube.

A tip from a Polish advertising agency:

The success of the Yes campaign (but also the failure of the Apart campaign) shows that Polish customers and clients have had enough of unnatural advertising with smiling celebrities. Poles expect something more than showing an ideal world – they expect a brand to be close to them, accessible to all, emphasising diversity and socially engaged. It is worth taking advantage of this.

5. Monopoly and Ciechanów City Hall

Who doesn’t know Monopoly? For years this cult game has been creating interesting collaborations with popular movies or TV series (e.g. Monopoly with the motif of “Friends” series or Monopoly inspired by the “Harry Potter” series). Poland can also boast its own Monopoly game. This year, Ciechanów Monopoly was created – a board game developed in cooperation between Winning Moves and Ciechanów City Hall. The Ciechanów version of Monopoly was a key element of modern promotion of the city combined with a noble cause (support for the municipal animal shelter). Thanks to the game it is possible to get to know tourist attractions, monuments and city architecture, but to be taken with a pinch of salt.

City Hall post with rapper Quebonafide promoting Monopoly Ciechanów game

The campaign was promoted by well-known figures from the world of traditional media and the Internet, such as linguist Professor Jerzy Bralczyk and rapper Quebonafide. It was thanks to his character that the campaign gained nationwide publicity and that young people became interested in the Ciechanów version of the board game.

A tip from a Polish advertising agency:

The example of cooperation between Ciechanów and Monopoly can be a great inspiration for companies in the tourism industry. Typical marketing solutions are worth reaching for in periods of “stagnation” (i.e. autumn and winter) in order to remind clients and attract new ones.

6. CANAL+ i serial “The Office PL” 

The premiere of the Polish version of the series “The Office” set tongues wagging at the end of 2021 – not only because of the controversial idea of the production, but also thanks to non-standard advertising activities. In addition to the classic promotion on social networks or trailers CANAL+ decided on a really creative step. A profile of Michał Holec (the main character of the series) was created on LinkedIn. It was he who headed the fictional company Kropliczanka, whose office we could see in the Polish version of “The Office PL”.

A redesign of the Forbes cover that appeared on LinkedIn of a fictional account of Michal Holc.
Source: LinkedIn

A man of inspiration, a philanthropist, a great dancer. The only president of Kropliczanka. A writer, perhaps a future podcaster, a motivator. For years I have been successfully managing a large team in a thriving mineral water company. If my subordinates leave work without a stomach ache from laughter, it is a lost day for me – Holc tells “about himself” on the platform. The fictional CEO of a fictional company posted on LinkedIn for a few weeks, engaging real people in provocative discussions (for example, he posted a reworking of his own photo on the cover of Forbes magazine). The action gained a lot of publicity and gave the promotion of the series additional momentum. What is more, it was a lesson for those who were fooled. Maybe next time they will be less superficial in assessing the content they come across on the Internet.

A tip from a Polish advertising agency

Although the viewers of the series were divided into two groups and the production gained many opponents, in our opinion, the methods of its promotion deserve a mention. Introducing a fictional character into the real world of a business platform was a solution that was not only creative and eye-catching, but above all – free. Let this be a piece of advice to all those who think that the best marketing can be achieved only with big budgets.

The year 2021 was a time when Polish marketers increasingly turned towards young audiences. A complete shift exclusively to the virtual world of the Internet is also visible – more and more Polish companies focus their marketing activities exclusively online. Our attention was drawn to the frequently recurring theme of using game mechanics. Everything indicates that in 2022 this trend will not end. If you are looking for a Polish advertising agency to launch your brand on the Polish market or you are already there but need more creative promotional activities, contact us. Enter the coming year with a new strategy!