Distinctive Brand Assets in Advertising Volume 1


Distinctive Brand Assets in Advertising Volume 1

Looking for inspiration on how other brands have activated their brand codes or equities in advertising and communications? Look no further.


Perfect example of the “Golden Arches” brand asset being utilised to promote their delivery service by Leo Burnett. So embedded now, it can even be used as a replacement for the brand name (not recommended for most brands!)   


While not an official ad from Kit Kat but part of the One Minute Brief challenge, this ad summarises how powerful an embedded brand asset can be.


Combining both the yellow lid brand code, along with product features/benefits, this wonderful OOH special from Adam & Eve/DDB is really playing with your Distinctive Brand Assets.


Heinz turned their DBA from an insight into a campaign. They (anonymously) asked people to draw ketchup, so iconic is their bottle that people all over the world drew representations of the Heinz bottle which they then used as part of their campaign.

Sony PlayStation

Clever use of the PlayStation buttons in this campaign to promote the launch of the new PlayStation utilising the iconic shape of the London underground sign.


A brand with a very diverse range of brand assets, with Colonel Sanders playing a leading role especially in the U.S. While not our favourite use of the Colonel, creating a short film that features Mario Lopez as a “sexy Colonel Sanders” is definitely one example of a brand really pushing the boundaries in playing with their assets.


The Dulex dog is a well-known brand icon in a number of countries, helping drive memorability in comparison to other paint brand advertising which just blends in. It’s a great example to help show the power of DBAs in driving brand attribution and helping maintain salience. Rumour has it that “Dash” was first introduced into Dulux’s advertising campaigns by accident. Dash, belonging to the ad’s director, kept running across the set to play with the child actors. The footage was so adorable they couldn’t resist keeping him in. Surprisingly the brands use of the Dulux dog has been low key in recent years.

The Economist

An oldie but a goodie by advertising legend David Abbott. Shows the benefit of having an owned distinctive style that can then just act as a jumping off point in producing brilliant creative.


Outside of the blue/yellow colour palette there isn’t anything totally out there with Ikea, however they show how subtle DBAs such as product naming, VO accent and even grading, can combine to create advertising that you just know and remember as Ikea. As Mark Ritson would so eloquently and simply say, “first they must know it’s me”.


Mastercard recently launched a suite of ads utilising their iconic logo with some wonderful art direction from McCann Colombia


No self-respecting article on the use of brand assets in advertising could finish up without at least mentioning Guinness and their use of the iconic black pint. Here is one from 2020 on the lifting of lockdown.

What are your favourite examples of Distinctive Brand Assets? Add them to the comments below.