5 Great Marketing Case Studies

Colleges and graduate schools use marketing case studies as a way to show students which campaigns succeeded and which ones failed over the years. As you learn more about those studies, you see how advertising companies used marketing to bring attention to new products. You can read more about the top studies both in school and out.

New Coke

During the 1980s, Coca-Cola watched as Pepsi, its main competitor, started taking over a larger portion of its market share. In the hopes of making the company bigger than ever, Coca-Cola announced plans to pull it original formula from store shelve and replace it with something called New Coke. Though some liked the new formula, sales dropped, which let Pepsi grow even larger. New Coke was such a failure both in terms of marketing and sales that the company eventually pulled it from shelves and brought back the original formula.

Old Spice Man

One of the top marketing case studies from recent years is the Old Spice Man. Old Spice saw its sales dropping and found that customers often thought of its aftershave as something that older men wore. To get customers using its products again, Old Spice created a series of commercials around an attractive man. Known only as the Old Spice Man, he appealed to women and men by claiming that men could smell like him when they used the same products. The campaign was so successful that Old Spice added new products to its line up like deodorant and body spray.

Apple Computers

No matter how old you are, you probably remember the Apple vs. PC commercials that aired during the 1990s. Justin Long, who starred in several hit films later in his career, appeared in the commercials on behalf of Mac computers and talked about how Macs were so much better than traditional PC computers. When reading about marketing case studies such as this one, you’ll find out how a series of simple commercials could help a company in both the present day and the future. Some experts credit those commercials with helping Apple become the powerhouse that it is today.

”The Blair Witch Project”

“The Blair Witch Project” remains one of the most successful films of all time. Made for less than $100,000, it grossed millions at the box office. The film is also one of the marketing case studies that you might study in a marketing class. Instead of releasing traditional trailers to market the movie, the studio billed it as a real event that happened in a small town in Maryland. Television networks even ran specials dedicated to the true story behind the film and the search for the three missing people featured in the film. Some reports even state that the actors never appeared in public until the truth came out that it really was just a fictional story.


Advertising Age picked the Budweiser “What’s Up” marketing campaign as one of the top campaigns of the 20th century, and it’s one of the marketing case studies used in business schools today. Though Budweiser still had a large share of the market, it watched as competitors came in and took business away. Its line of commercials featured men asking, “what’s up?” to each other in exaggerated ways. Those commercials still remain popular today.

If you enroll in an undergrad or graduate business program, you can expect to take a few marketing and advertising classes. Those classes will likely go over some of the top marketing case studies, including the campaigns used by Budweiser, Old Spice, Apple, Coca-Cola and even film studios.