1. Wix: Melt the Ice Campaign
What was this campaign about? Wix encouraged users to enter into their Super Bowl contest where they could win up to $50,000. The catch? They would only draw a winner after a football fell out of a frozen block of ice.
Why did it work? This campaign worked because Wix utilized Facebook’s relatively new (then) Live video feature.
They would help melt the ice, but only if users commented on the video, resulting in more engagements. The more participation they got, the higher the video would move in people’s newsfeeds.
How can I do this myself? Live videos don’t have to be over the top productions. Wix froze a football in a block of ice and then melted it. Yet it generated a ton of engagement simply because people wanted to see if they won.
2. Airbnb: We Are Here Campaign
What was this campaign about? This Facebook Live campaign was Airbnb’s way of showing potential customers just how much there is to do in cities around the world. The best part is they could experience it with their Airbnb host.
Why did it work? We’ve seen a dramatic rise in video content on Facebook for the past couple of years. Especially live video. These in-depth tours take viewers above and beyond and show them the best experiences about the places they could visit.
How can I do this myself: Try shooting on-location live video of interesting places relevant to your brand.
3. Blendtec: Will It Blend Campaign
What was this campaign about? Okay, let’s be honest here for a second. Who doesn’t like seeing random objects smashed into a pulp by a blender (especially when it’s Jar Jar Binks)?
Blendtec created a brilliant campaign to show off its high-powered blender by asking the question, “Will it blend?”
Why did it work? Thanks to Blendtec’s original idea, their Facebook video campaign drew in thousands of viewers. Their ability to blend (or attempt to blend) some of the most random objects around immediately draws your attention. It’s also led to multiple spin-offs of other companies trying similar feats.
How can I do this myself? Not all of us have a high powered blender that we can tear apart Jar Jar Binks with. However, all of us have a product or service that we want to market. You can follow Blendtec’s lead and find a way to show off the power of your product. This can help show the benefits of your product in a fun and engaging way.
4. State Bicycle Co: 12 Days of State
What was this campaign about? Holiday campaigns are always a great way to get the attention of your social media audience. While lots of companies do a 12 days of Christmas sale State Bicycle Co made it their own with their 12 Days of State sale.
Each day featured a new bike or accessory that was on sale for 24 hours only. This put a sense of urgency into the minds of customers to encourage them to buy.
Why this campaign works? This holiday campaign works because of the unique way that State Bicycle Co tailored their holiday content. They showcase products that their customers are interested and stoke the fear of missing out by putting a time limit on the sale.
How can I do this myself? Work with your social media team to build a campaign message that creates a feeling of missing out (FOMO). This feeling should encourage your audience to act quickly or they will miss out on whatever your organization is offering.
5. Make-A-Wish: BatKid Campaign
What is this campaign about? This multi-channel campaign is without a doubt a suckerpunch of emotions. Batkid Begins is a short documentary film about Miles, a young boy fighting leukemia, whose wish was to become the real Batman.
Make-a-Wish worked with the city of San Francisco, and thousands of people showed up to support Batkid. It was then turned into a documentary for people to see young Miles become Batman.
Why this campaign works? Not only does this campaign make you want to cry happy tears, it hits the ground running by treating Batkid Begins at the same level as a blockbuster movie premiere.
It harnesses the emotions of those who see these posts and draws them into a human moment.
How can I do this myself: Find a cause to connect with your brand. Talk to organizers of the cause or non-profit you want to sort to see how you can help. After you have identified ways that your organization can give back promote it with a social media campaign.
6. Qdoba: Queso Bliss Contest
What is this campaign about? Who doesn’t love queso? That’s what Qdoba thought when they launched their Queso Bliss contest that let their fans choose which one of their limited time quesos was the absolute best.
Through a series of votes, fans across Qdoba’s multiple social media channels were able to choose which queso was their favorite. The winning queso would be free on a specific day.
Why did this campaign work? This campaign worked because of its ability to engage fans across multiple channels and participate in the decision making process.
These updates helped keep fans engaged and rooting for their favorite queso. By keeping them continuously updated it kept users invested in the outcome.
How can I do this myself? Run a contest that allows your audience to influence something your business does. Qdoba may have just let them choose their favorite cheese dip, but it’s the fact that they were willing to listen that made the difference.
7. Deadpool: Digital DVD Release Campaign
What is this campaign about? Sassy superhero Deadpool was getting ready to release the DVD/Bluray of the movie. This was a multi-channel campaign and also include a custom Snapchat filter.
Why does this campaign work? Deadpool is blunt, cunning, sassy and inappropriate (depending on your views). His character is known for breaking the 4th wall, and it’s that personality that came into the DVD marketing campaign.
Blunt posts that are ripe with Deadpool’s humor were posted across multiple channels. By bringing that unique personality into the voice and tone of the campaign, Deadpool was able to stand out across multiple social channels.
How can I do this myself? Define the voice and tone of your campaign. Figure out what type of message you want to send and keep it consistent across every piece of content you publish and interaction you have with your audience. This includes responses to fans or off the cuff posts.
8. Purdue: Day of Giving
What was this campaign about? Each year Purdue hosts its annual day of giving to help raise money for student scholarships.
Why did this campaign work: Purdue’s Day of Giving campaign worked because it tapped into its alumni network to create a sense of community that encouraged people to donate back to their alma mater.
How can I do this myself? Tap into a community of your target audience members. (Read this book from Seth Godin for more about tribes and communities). Create an emotional message that resonates with your target audience and inspires them to take action.
9. Tweet Bra
What was this campaign about? o remind women to complete monthly self-exams the Tweet Bra was invented. The campaign would send gentle reminders via Twitter to women, each time the bra was unhooked.
Why did this campaign work? Breast cancer awareness is an incredibly important health issue for women. Many hospitals encourage women to perform monthly self-exams to check for changes in tissue. It gave them the gentle reminder when they were doing something that they do on a regular basis anyways. By sending notifications through something they do daily the messages don’t become invasive or annoying.
Tweet Bra took something that many women check daily (their Twitter) to remind them to complete their exams. Not to mention, talking about a tweeting bra is going to grab anyone’s attention.
How can I do this myself? You don’t need to invent a tweeting bra to create a great social media campaign. Use a push notification app to bring your social media content to the attention of your followers.
10. Eggo: Stranger Things Season 2
What was this campaign about? With the premiere of Stranger Things 2, Netflix and Eggo teamed up to bring awareness to the show’s premiere.
Eleven (a character on the show) loves Eggo and with the premiere landing on Halloween, Eggo went all out, retweeting people with the frozen waffle boxes, sharing hints about the show and posting recipes for different waffle concoctions.
Why did this campaign work: Eggo tapped into the popularity of Stranger Things and ran a campaign that interacted with their audience and encouraged the Stranger Things fandom love of Eggos.
How can I do this myself? Tap into anything that your audience loves and use them to help fuel your social media campaigns.
11. McDonalds: I’m Lovin It Super Bowl Campaign
What was this campaign about? McDonald’s wanted to find a way to stand out in the Super Bowl advertising space. They wanted to run a feel good campaign and instead of working against their competitors, they teamed up.
McDonald’s sent fun tweets like the one above each time a competitor ran a Super Bowl ad.
Why did this campaign work: Super Bowl advertising is all about standing out from the crowd which means that companies usually go bigger every year. By tweeting about their competitors and getting into their audience’s tweet threads they were able to gain more exposure for their content.
How can I do this myself? Work with your team to brainstorm ways to get in front of your competitors audience.
12. Charmin: Sit or Squat App
What was this campaign about? Charmin went above and beyond for their customers with this social media campaign around the launch of their new Sit or Squat app.
The main purpose?
As you travel around you can check the local toilets around you to see if they’re clean (sit) or not so clean (squat).
Why did this campaign work: Charmin took a problem that their consumers regularly face (dirty bathrooms) and helped them become avoidable in a fun and interactive way.
How can I do this myself? You don’t need a cool app to produce a campaign like Charmin. The heart of their campaign was about solving an everyday problem that their users were experiencing.
Create interactive content that solves a problem for your customer. Resources like Ceros may be able to help you out.
13. Sevenly’s 12 Days of Giving Campaign
What was this campaign about? Sevenly used its 12 days of giving sale to give back to a new charity each day. For every product bought, $7 would go towards a great cause.
Why did this campaign work: Around the holidays (and hopefully all the time) people love to give back. Sevenly used its Christmas sales to give back to charities they care about most.
Their messages tugged on the emotional heartstrings of their followers, hopefully encouraging them to buy.
How can I do this myself? Choose a charity or event to send a portion of your proceeds to. Read this article from American Express on different criteria your business can use for finding the charity.
14. RYU: One More Rep For Mental Health
What was this campaign about? RYU encouraged it’s customers to either go to their physical location or video record themselves swinging a kettlebell back and forth. For every rep they did RYU would donate towards organizations raising awareness of mental health.
Why did this campaign work? RYU sells athletic clothes, therefore, their target audience would be people who are active. They used that information about their target audience to get people to participate in their challenge.
It also helped RYU by bringing foot traffic into their brick and mortar stores and raise conversations about their brand on social media.
The best part? They were raising money for a great cause.
How can I do this myself? Identify what drives your audience to do good or show off. What would drive them to post about your product or business? Find a way to integrate those driving factors into your social media campaign.
15. Disney: InstaGaston
What was this campaign about? Disney brought followers inside the Beauty in the Beast premiere by turning their Instagram account over to Gaston (played by actor Luke Evans).
Why did this campaign work? The chances of a fan getting to attend a movie premiere in real life are pretty slim. So Disney helped them feel included with exclusive access through the eyes of one of the film’s stars.
That exclusivity can help bring a boost in followers and interactions because fans couldn’t get that content anywhere else.
How can I do this myself? Use your social media campaigns to make people feel like they are a part of an event or conference that they wouldn’t get to attend or experience otherwise.
15. Nintendo: Nintendo Switch Launch
What was this campaign about? Nintendo was launching its highly anticipated Nintendo Switch console. The new console allows users to switch back and forth from a hand-held video game to a tv console.
Why did this campaign work? Nintendo was launching a global product which everyone was clamoring to get their hands on. They were able to manage multiple accounts and create a consistent message throughout the campaign on a global scale.
How can I do this myself? Whether you’re a massive global brand or a small local business, keeping consistent messaging and visual branding is important for any campaign. Always review every post and make sure it stays on point with messaging. If you do this well, you can communicate one clear message consistently every time, even when you’re working on a global cross-channel campaign.
16. Anthropologie: Open Call
What was this campaign about? Anthropologie ran an Instagram campaign that encouraged users to enter the competition for a chance to model for the brand. Users had to post photos of themselves wearing Anthropologie clothes with the hashtag #AnthroOpenCall.
Why did this campaign work? This campaign works because of its competitive element and high reward. Anthropologie offered their audience a once in a lifetime chance to their target audience. They increased the awareness of their own brand by encouraging that audience to share photos of themselves wearing Anthropologie clothes, exposing their brand to potential new buyers.
How can I do this myself? Host a contest for your audience that has a highly coveted prize but an easy way to enter. To enter, your audience should have to do something that generates content that shows off your product or organization.
17. Applebees: Fantographer Campaign
What is this campaign about? Applebees used their Instagram account to share fan generated content with the hashtag #fantographer.
Why did this campaign work? 93% of marketers are seeing results from user generated content. Why? Because people are more likely to other audience members than content that’s been created by a company.
How can I do this myself? Develop a hashtag or series of hashtags that identifies your brand or organization. Encourage your audience to share content about your organization with the hashtag so you can reshare it to your social media channels.
18. Honda: Pintermission
What was this campaign about? Honda was getting ready to launch the new CR-V, and they wanted to find a unique way to advertise it. They found five Pinterest influencers with thousands of followers and encouraged them to take a break from Pinterest and do the things they pinned on their boards.
These pinners had to take a break from Pinterest for 24 hours. During that 24 hours Honda would send them $500 to actually try anything they pinned on their boards. The influencers would document their adventure and pin photos, videos and more to a special board that talked about Honda and their #Pintermission.
Why did this campaign work: This campaign worked because Honda took the time to research the aspirations and dreams that their target audience was pinning to Pinterest. They created content with influencers that showed their target audience how to accomplish those aspirations while using Honda’s product, the new CR-V.
How can I do this myself? Look at your audience’s aspirations. What does your audience want to achieve or accomplish on Pinterest (make sure this relates to your product). Look for influencers that would help show your audience how they can reach their aspirations with your product. Use Buzzsumo or Followerwonk to find influencers to help you out.
19. TOK&STOK: Pinlist
What was this campaign about? TOK&STOK knew that customers often look at furniture and discuss it with family and partners before making a purchase decision. To make sure they didn’t forget about pieces they loved, they added pin buttons to their store that would sync with a user’s account while they shopped.
Why did this campaign work? The interactive element to this campaign made it easy for users to remember, search and shop for what they wanted. By making it easy to find and shop on Pinterest, TOK&STOK was able to help close the sale, and Pinterest could show off its shoppable pins.
20. Kotex: Inspirational Women’s Day
What was this campaign about: Kotex chose 50 inspiring women to receive personalized gifts from Kotex. How did they know what they wanted? They searched their Pinterest boards.
Why did this campaign work: Kotex wanted to do a good deed while simultaneously promoting their brand on Pinterest. Kotex took the time to research their audience and find out what they loved. They then did something unexpected and different which caused them to want to share their gifts online.
How can I do this? You can replicate Kotex’s idea by finding something unexpected to do for your audience. This could be a contest with prizes or randomly choosing a few social media fans to receive some swag from your company.
21. Krystons: Pinterest Yard Sale
What was this campaign about? Krystons decided to show how to their products can transform old furniture and be sold for a profit. The best part? All the proceeds went to charity.
Why did this campaign work: Kryston’s got creative to show how their product works and the changes they can bring to their audience’s lives.
How can I do this? Brainstorm with your team different outside the box ways that you can show off your product on different social media channels.
22. Honey Bunches of Oats: Happy Mothers Day
What was this campaign about? Honey Bunches of Oats wanted to connect to fans over Mother’s Day, so they created a series of boards that users could make their own Mother’s Day card with.
Why did this campaign work? It helped followers create their Mother’s Day card (which they needed to do anyways) in a way that was fun and free.
How can I do this? Create content that engages your audience by hooking their attention with something they already do daily or need to do in future. If your content makes it easier for them to check something off their to-do list, why wouldn’t they take action?
23. Urban Decay: Electric Launch and Coachella
What was this campaign about? Urban Decay was about to launch a new makeup line that was full of bright colors. They wanted to stand out so they worked with Coachella to create a social campaign that showed fans how to apply different makeup for the festival.
Why did this campaign work? This campaign works because Urban Decay leveraged the attention people were already paying toward a major event. Then, it gave their customers an opportunity to show off their own sense of style (and maybe even win some great prizes).
How can I do this myself? Give your audience an opportunity to show off using your product. If you can tie that campaign into something specific, like how to look your best before going to a festival, then even better.
24. Apple: #ShotOniPhone
What is this campaign about? Apple wanted to show users how easy it was to shoot great photos on the iPhone. Users could post photos to Instagram and show them off with the hashtag.
Why is this campaign successful? iPhones are known for their cameras. So when competitors made a point to put in better cameras, Apple had to take theirs to the next level. So, like some of the other campaigns in this post, they turned to customer generated content. There #ShotOniPhone hashtag is now a standard hashtag on Instagram.
How can I do this myself? Show the kinds of results your product can produce. If you can do that using the product itself, even better. To really take things over the top, get user-generated content to make your point for you.
Anyone can say they’re the best. Letting your customers prove it, though? That kind of authenticity is hard to beat.
Go Plan Your Next Social Campaign
Maybe you found a campaign or two (or 24) that helped spark your creativity. Whatever your team decides to do, create a campaign that is outside the box.
Once you’re ready to start executing your plan, pull out your social media campaign planning kit and start using CoSchedule. Our all in one marketing calendar offers features like:
- Social Media Campaigns so you can plan, write and execute your content all in one place.
- Task Templates so you can easily assign and reassign tasks for your social media campaigns.
- ReQueue to automatically reshare your best evergreen content.
- Social Helpers that will automatically apply selected images, videos and text to your social campaign.