Great Ad Campaigns: “Mikey Likes It”
The writing of a campaign is what makes it great. Utilizing the best copywriting tools makes for a great ad campaign, which will successfully sell a product and make the product successful.
Therefore, using an example like the famously successful “Mikey Likes It” ad campaign to help teach copywriters the five golden rules will help you learn everything to create your own successful copywriting.
What Is The “Mikey Likes It” Ad Campaign?
The “Mikey Likes It” ad campaign from Quaker Oats is one that aired in the 1970s. The campaign is a commercial to promote Life cereal for people, especially those who are fussy-eaters, to showcase how anyone can enjoy it.
The commercial features a young boy named “Mikey”, a prime example of a fussy-eater, who ends up being asked to eat the Life cereal and ends up liking it.
Therefore, proving how anyone can and will enjoy consuming the product. It is a simple yet effective advertising method to help sell the most basic product.
It became popular straight away for showcasing a fun way to encourage children to eat Life cereal. Likewise, it won many awards and aired for over 13 years, which just proves how effective the writing and message behind it were.
The efficacy of the campaign comes from the writers and directors who put together such a useful tool to help sell Life cereal.
It entails a basic everyday practice of eating breakfast, which everyone can relate to, and turns it into something that everyone wants to try, which showcases highly effective writing.
Five Lessons Copywriters Can Learn From The Ad Campaign
The “Mikey Likes It” campaign is so effective thanks to its copywriters, it is a great example to look at for educational purposes.
Should you be someone looking for great copywriting lessons, taking this ad campaign as an example will help you understand these five things:
1- Make the campaign as relatable as possible
A successful campaign is one that is relatable. As a copywriter, you will want to adjust your campaign in accordance with your target audience so that that campaign is relatable and can be as effective as possible.
When a campaign is relatable, it will further encourage the target audience to want to try the product/service being advertised.
For this particular ad campaign, the product is Life cereal, which is being sold to parents in order to feed their children healthy breakfasts. Nonetheless, the ad needs to be relatable for children as well as the parents, who will be the ones purchasing the product.
Therefore, the “Mikey Likes It” ad campaign features children as opposed to adults, as its purpose is to draw children in to want to try it. Therefore, using three children will stand out to the younger audience as it will relate to them being with their friends and/or siblings.
When trying to write relatable ad campaigns, you will want to draw from personal experiences, which you think your target audience might experience. For example, this ad campaign draws on the idea that children dislike eating foods and turns it around so that children end up enjoying healthy foods.
Hence, making a campaign as relatable as possible clearly proves to be successful and the most effective way to sell a product. It will help the audience justify the need to buy and use the product.
2- Work with a great agency
Working with a great agency will ensure that your copywriting skills are put to good use and that your ideas are considered. It isn’t just you behind the campaign, there are more people that come together and create the campaign as a whole. Therefore, it is important to work with a great team in order to produce the best results.
For instance, the agency behind the Life cereal ad campaign was Doyle, Dane & Bernbach Agency, which were tasked with creating a product and campaign that is appealing for children.
Both of which, are quite difficult things to put together. Nonetheless, the campaign was a success and it helped parents across America to encourage their children to eat healthier breakfast options.
Not only did the agency help to create a memorable catchphrase, but the actions of the child helped enhance the appeal of the product. The confidence Mikey had when eating the Life cereal shows that he enjoys it, which will encourage other children to want to try it and be just like him.
3- Create a memorable catchphrase
The memorable catchphrase, which most people will already know, from the ad campaign is “He likes it! Hey, Mikey!”. This is a catchphrase that most people will know what you are referring to when you say it, which just proves how important a memorable catchphrase is.
Not only is the Quaker Oats catchphrase memorable, but it is also friendly, warming, and relatable. Again, the key here is reliability.
If you can write a campaign that is relatable through the words and actions involved, then you will be able to ensure to be as relatable as possible to entice customers and make them want to connect with the product being advertised.
4- Produce humor (where possible)
Although not every campaign can be humorous, as it will depend on the product/service, it is good to include it where possible. This makes the campaign relatable and memorable. Again, the key here is relatability, which will ensure to engage the customer and encourage them to buy the product.
The “Mikey Likes It” ad campaign uses humor in a clever way. When the two young boys say “let’s get Mikey, he won’t eat it, he hates everything”, it suggests that the boys know how fussy Mikey is. However, when Mikey eats the Life cereal it proves them wrong and creates a small amount of humor for the audience, as well as towards the young boys who thought that they knew it all.
This humor becomes relatable for children and adults, as we have all been there to suggest that we know something that we don’t. It results in you being corrected, which further proves the point that Life cereal is delicious and worth trying.
Even a small amount of humor is enough to make the campaign memorable and unique from other campaigns that do not use humor and instead, lack personality, fun, and character.
5 - Make it short but sweet
The great thing about the “Mikey Likes It” ad campaign is that it was short and sweet and to the point. Trying to fluff up a campaign can deter the key message, which won’t make it successful nor will it help to promote the product.
Focusing on one clear message to sell one product is all you need. If you try to focus on multiple messages, then the core message will end up getting lost. It is important to maintain focus, as the “Mikey Likes It” Quaker Oats campaign did.
They focused solely on the fact that even fussy-eaters can like Life cereal, such as young children. Therefore, it indicates that every child can enjoy healthy cereal and avoid eating over-sugary and unhealthy breakfast options.
The ad campaign remains focused and ensures to be fun and short. It is incredible to the point, hence its short timeframe. It is more effective to have a short and memorable campaign over one that tries to convey many messages in a long sequence.
Even the shortest ad campaign can be memorable, so long as it includes a memorable catchphrase, relatable storyline, and simple message.
Therefore, a key lesson to take from the campaign is to make your work short and sweet but enough to convey the key message. Keep it simple as over-complicating a message and a campaign won’t give a clear indication of the benefits of buying and using the product.
In conclusion, there are many lessons a copywriter can learn from a successful campaign like “Mikey Likes It”. The golden rule here is to produce ad content that is relatable and memorable, as it will increase a brand’s awareness as well as its reputation.
Clever writing for great ads will make for a memorable catchphrase, which customers will remember and use when purchasing and using a product.
A catchphrase is something that will make a brand familiar. As for the “Mikey Likes It” ad campaign, the famous catchphrase stands out as the product’s unique selling point, which still helps sell the product and the brand all years after its initial release.
Learning these clever lessons from such a great ad campaign is useful for copywriters to carry forward into future work.
Ensure to be relatable, short, and sweet, yet effective. It will make for a successful campaign and easy sale of a product.