Distinctive Brand Assets in Advertising

Distinctive Brand Assets in Advertising


Distinctive Brand Assets in Advertising

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


A 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.


It would be fair to say that Lego is the most distinctive toy brand in the world, built on consistency, creativity and never veering too far from the simplicity of their original product. This also carries through to their advertising.

Lego “Imagination”


The spiced rum brand are well known for their use of the Kraken across channels from AV to OOH through to experiential. It helps show the power of having a flexible multi tentacle brand asset (get it?). It is also the perfect example of a brand using a Distinctive Brand Asset in connecting the brand, and the dots, across “Long and Short” channels.

Kraken Out Of Home Advertising


Standard-bearer in the use of a Distinctive Brand Asset, Geico have been consistent and creative in the use of the gecko over the years.

Chanel No.5

With years of equity built up in their bottle, this very playful example from Chanel to celebrate Mother’s Day was a lovely bit of insight & creativity.

Redbreast Irish Whiskey

Not that well known to many non-whiskey aficionados (yet), Redbreast is a premium Irish whisky from the same company behind Jameson. They have recently brought the robin icon to life in a range of ways, from communications through to gift packs (which double as bird feeders). This is a great example of a marketing team standing back and making a plan for becoming a distinctive brand within a very competitive category. Already having the luxury of a wonderful liquid, now with consistency and the right investment, this brand could go on to be a major player within the premium whisk(e)y space. 

Brand Research That Provokes Action. Find Out More About Distinctive Asset Research

Used by some of the world’s most distinctive & leading brands



A brand very clear on which assets to use and how. They are consistent in their use of the DBAs but also know how to bring them to life across touchpoints.

Stabilo Highlighter

Brilliant in more ways than one (and a very meta example), Stabilo demonstrate how the product and central product feature can itself be used as a brand asset.

Stabilo – Highlight the Remarkable – Katherine Johnson


Coors has been quite ruthless in their use of DBAs over the years which included prominent featuring of their silver can and bottle, use of the mountain icon and really trying to own the “rocky mountain” landscape.

Mountain Dew

Quite a distinctive bottle thanks to its green hue, Mountain Dew really doubles down on colour in advertising and across touchpoints.

Kool Aid

At this point we hope you’ve drank the Distinctive Brand Asset Kool Aid, if not perhaps watch this.

Brand Research That Provokes Action. Find Out More About Distinctive Asset Research

Used by some of the world’s most distinctive & leading brands