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While we're not sure about the religious effects of the Apple iPod, its cultural, technology, business, and marketing influence can't be understated. Technology and entire business models were changed, or at least influenced, by the product's simple and functional design and mission. But its marketing influence has been one of its biggest impacts.
The Nintendo Wii certainly changed the way video games are played, designed and sold, but also cast a much wider cultural ripple. And while the launch of the Wii in November 2006 was a marketing blitz of advertising, events and promotions, it was also preceded by months of groundbreaking marketing. More than 50 million consoles have been sold worldwide.
Unilever launched the body spray in the U.S. in 2002 with spots from Bartle Bogle Hegarty that pushed the boundaries of sex and humor in ads and forged new frontiers for branded content. U.S. sales across the franchise and all outlets (per Nielsen) now top $500 million annually, making Axe the leading male-grooming brand outside blades and razors.
Five, five, $5 footlo-ooong wasn't just an insidious jingle that haunted your sleepless hours. Subway's 2008 value play has spawned a host of imitators and established $5 as the standard for a low-priced meal. The deal resulted in double-digit same-store sales increases across the Subway system in 2008, and forced the chain to make $5 footlongs a permanent menu item.
It wasn't sexy, but Jamie Lee Curtis' willingness to talk about "digestive issues, such as occasional irregularity" changed the way women thought about yogurt and other foods. Dannon's Activia, released in 2006, rang up more than $100 million during its first year at grocery stores and soon became one of the top-selling yogurts.
The distinctive-looking, diminutive Mini Cooper car made a huge splash when BMW brought a modern version back to the U.S. in 2002 after a 35-year absence. The new Mini's U.S. ad agency, Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, Miami, shook up the auto advertising world by relying more on unconventional tactics to create buzz for the retro-looking car.
The 2000 D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles launch of P&G's Crest Whitestrips, which needed to be worn for only a half hour daily for two weeks and cost under $40, created a sensation, as well as a roughly $300 million category. P&G beat back competition from Colgate and later J& J's Listerine to hold around two-thirds of the market.
"Guitar Hero," launched in fall 2005 by RedOctane and Harmonix, was the first social video-game and inspired a music and entertainment party trend in bars and homes long before anyone had ever picked up a virtual tennis racket. The franchise hit $1 billion in sales by the end of 2008, just a little over two years after launch.
In 2000, Toyota launched its Prius hybrid car in the U.S. at a time when bigger SUVs and fancier full-size pickups were popular. The success of the car, now in its third generation as a 2010 model, has made Toyota synonymous with green and pushed other carmakers to dial up their green advertising and try to get competitive models to market.
7 FOR ALL MANKIND
With the launch of 7 For All Mankind in 2000, premium denim was introduced to the American market and shopping for jeans would never be the same again. By 2007, annual revenues were estimated at $300 million, and the brand was acquired by VF Corp., who has said it expects to see sales of the brand grow 15% annually.