Social campaigns have hit new heights in the past 12 months. The number of different vehicles where they can take place, the ways they can be made and the audience they can reach are broader than ever before.
Below we list the top 8 social campaigns of 2014 starting with our top 3!
Burger King Motel
As they said at the start of their viral video, Burger King had a problem, people in New Zealand love beef and the ‘whopper’ was their biggest selling burger in the country. So in order to encourage New Zealanders to ‘cheat on the whopper’ and try their new chicken burger, they created a motel where people could try it.
People had to sign up using the Burger King Facebook page and were encouraged to share their experiences on social media using the #motelBK hashtag. This saw their user engagement increase by 587% on Facebook and reach nearly half of the entire New Zealand population.
We saw last year with the Dove Beauty sketches that addressing social issues head on creates strong brand identity. Always have created a similar campaign with their #likeagirl campaign, focussing on a video outlining how the perception of doing something ’like a girl’ is an insult that many would overlook, but is harmful to equality.
Focussing on the innocence of children compared to the indoctrination of adults, it creates a strong link to women’s issues and as such has had over 53 million views on Youtube.
One thing that has become true of social media, is that people love to share interesting pictures of themselves.
The idea behind the new Net-a-Porter app is that people can upload a picture of themselves to look like they appearing on the front page of the new Net-a-Porter magazine, that is looking to become a new fashion magazine to rival the established players in the market.
Through this highly viral idea, people will begin to recognise and associate with the branding, making it a strong way to launch the magazine as a brand rather than launching the magazine then needing to establish brand understanding.
Subway #januANY Campaign
We particularly liked this campaign because it harnessed the use of GIFs, which have been the picture format of choice in 2014. The ability to have pictures that move has seen a significant uptake thanks to sites like Buzzfeed and Tumblr, it has created a new way to communicate with people, without the need for high value production costs or simple static imagery.
The #januANY campaign saw Subway respond to tweets on the hashtag by sending customised animated GIFs with answers to users questions. Many would have been pre-made and simply used for different question varieties, but regardless, is testament to both personalisation and adoption of new media opportunities.
Airbnb Vine Film
Much like the Subway campaign, Airbnb utilized a new form of media in their campaign to create a film documenting the travel of one piece of paper. It was created through user generated Vines (6 second video clips) to create a 4.30 minute video. They invited their users to submit their vines for the film and received over 750, choosing 100 to make the final cut. Those who were successful received $100 for their input into the film.
The great thing about it, aside from the innovative use of new media, is the video manages to tell a story without seeming forced and also stays on brand, suiting the kind of audience that Airbnb would traditionally aim their campaigns at.
Sometimes a social campaign is not just about shares on social or using social media to spread a message, but by using the inherent understanding that people have of social media and what it means to create a campaign.
A.1 sauce has long been associated almost exclusively with steak, but have recently rebranded from ‘A.1 Steak Sauce’ to ‘A.1 Original Sauce’. The campaign to promote this change took the form of a Facebook relationship changing. It includes A.1 sauce breaking up with steak, becoming friends with several other foods, but then reconciling with steak at the end of the video.
It manages to link the social elements from a Facebook relationship that most people would be familiar with humour that makes it a highly viral recipe.
Staying on brand is key to a social campaign. Many of the people who are going to be following it and those who are likely to be interested in what you are offering or promoting need to be communicated to in the right way. The more on brand a message is, the more it will be shared in that community.
Landrover’s #hibernot campaign hits the nail on the head for the kind of people who would be interested in Land Rovers, those who are interested in outdoor pursuits and see themselves as fans of the countryside with a passion for adventure or exploration activities. It outlines the various outdoor and adventure activities that can be done around you, so provides a single information resource for people who would naturally be interested in outdoor activities and therefore more likely to be interested in Land Rover.
Samsung’s Oscars Tweet
This one is probably the most famous but least understood social media event of 2014.
From the outset it wasn’t obvious that this was a marketing move as there is no mention of Samsung or a particular phone. It looks like a regular photo of some of the world’s most famous people, but in reality it is a campaign from Samsung as the photo was taken on a Samsung phone.
This only came to light after the event, but not until it had become one of the most shared photos on the internet. The fact that this seemed so natural and most importantly, so non-promotional, is what made it a success. It could be argued that it did little to increase the brand awareness of Samsung, but in terms of a campaign that reached millions, it certainly achieved its goal.