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From Swipe File to Strategy: 3 Small Business Campaigns to Learn From

There’s a special kind of magic that happens when you stumble upon a great marketing campaign. Maybe it was an ad that stopped you mid-scroll, a social media post that sparked a conversation, or a website that left a lasting impression.

These moments of marketing magic can be fleeting, but the best ones leave you eager to translate that energy into your own campaigns. That’s where a swipe file comes in handy – a personal collection of marketing and copywriting examples to reference for inspiration.

Traditionally, swipe files focus on copy. But any piece of marketing that ignites your imagination deserves a place in your swipe file.

The value of keeping and maintaining a collection like this is priceless. It takes a mere moment to save a captivating ad, bookmark an inspiring website, or jot down a thought about a campaign that resonated with you. These small gestures can pay dividends down the line, offering a wealth of inspiration when you’re brainstorming ideas for your next marketing move.

To show you what this looks like, I’m sharing three campaigns from my swipe file and what I like about them. Consider the lessons they offer as you start working on your own swipe file!

Campaign #1: Sweet Treats and Swifties

Dia Doce, a small bakery in West Chester, hosted a daily cupcake-countdown leading up to the release of Taylor Swift’s latest album, The Tortured Poet’s Department.

For 10 days, they featured limited quantities of cupcakes inspired by one of her ten albums. On the final day, they hosted a vinyl giveaway, awarding one lucky winner a copy of the new album.

There are 3 reasons I love this campaign:

  1. They know their audience: This campaign is a masterclass in understanding your clientele—local college students who love, cupcakes, Taylor Swift, and an excuse to “treat themselves”.
  2. They understand supply and demand: Dia Doce’s cupcake flavors change weekly, and when they sell out for the day, that’s it. So their brand is already associated with a sense of urgency. It’s the classic age-old concept of supply and demand.
  3. They promoted it on a platform that makes it easy to spread the word: By using Instagram, Dia Doce not only promoted the campaign but also encouraged brand awareness through social sharing. Followers shared the posts, spreading the word even if they weren’t planning on buying cupcakes.

Campaign #2: The Philadelphia Inquirer’s SEPTA Ad


At first, it took me a second. But once I realized what this ad was getting at I immediately loved it.

This playful ad from The Philadelphia Inquirer taps into the city’s unique vernacular. It’s a prime example of literally speaking your audience’s language.

This campaign is a great reminder that effective marketing is about creating a connection. Sometimes the simplest approach—like using local slang—can be the most impactful.

Campaign #3: Gaidama’s #FoxFriday and #FridayFlow posts

Gaidama is a jiu jitsu clothing brand. Their mission is to create high-quality gear that stays in place during heavy rolls, isn’t see-through, and holds up over time.

But they’re not just selling gis; they’re creating a community.

In their #FoxFriday and #FridayFlow posts, they showcase real, everyday people working out in their clothes. This is smart marketing since authenticity is a large part of their brand. Instead of just showing models in a standing position, they show people in action.

They also make a point to feature women predominantly in their content. Jiu jitsu is a male-dominated sport, so by intentionally featuring more women, they’re defying stereotypes and establishing themselves as a brand that empowers female athletes.

Additionally, their commitment to providing valuable, free content (workout routines, submission tutorials) positions them as a trusted resource within the jiu-jitsu community. If I’m looking for a new workout routine or a new submission to test out in class, I know I can pull up their Instagram and find exactly what I’m looking for.

Almost all their videos include women wearing their clothes with a visible Gaidama logo, but to the consumer, the primary focus is on learning a new move. Creating a positive association with their brand through useful content is invaluable.

The Takeaway: Swipe Files Spark Creativity

Swipe files are more than just idea repositories; they’re creativity catalysts. When you encounter a campaign that resonates, don’t let the inspiration fade. Add it to your swipe file, and use it as a springboard for your next marketing masterpiece.

Remember, it’s not about copying something verbatim; it’s about harnessing that spark of inspiration to ignite your own unique approach.

Interested in talking through ideas you have for your next marketing campaign? Our team is available to help! Contact Sweet Rose Studios today to get started.