I think it is time to put the debate about the use of social media as a marketing tool to rest. Over the last few years I have seen a few really ignorant “experts” in PR claiming that the whole thing is overhyped, an opinion ironically expounded from social media platforms.
If that wasn’t enough to show they are less than informed on the topic, European research company Millward-Brown conducted a survey earlier this year, and the results clearly showed an increase in success correlating with social media campaigns launched by businesses all over the continent. Which seems to speak for itself.
As social media has become a larger part of our every day lives, companies have been getting more clever about how they use it to reach us. Engagement has been taken to a whole new level, as these examples of great campaigns show us.
We all know The Man Your Man Could Smell Like. The commercials featuring this unique and amusing idea actually managed to boost the companies profits by an astonishing amount within the first few months of the ad campaign. But it was their use of Twitter that gets them on this list. Users were allowed to tweet questions, which were then answered by the towel-wearing, velvet voiced Isaiah Mustafa. The campaign ended rather suddenly, and people claimed this made the video series a “failure”. But that is a rather ridiculous opinion; just look at the sales numbers, views and the popularity. Old Spice Man will never leave us…I’m on a horse.
Way back in 2006, a video was launched on YouTube that went immediately viral. It showed a model arriving at a shoot with no makeup and her hair undone. She was touched up with huge amounts of makeup and hair styling. Then, her photo was transformed entirely by a sped up Photoshop session where she ended up nearly unrecognisable by the time the photo was placed on a billboard. It has seen tens of millions of views, and to this day is one of the most popular campaigns to ever hit the web.
Who knew a blender could be so interesting? Instead of going with the cheesy infomercial format of the 90’s that we all tragically remember, Blendec went another route. Spokesperson Tom shows off the many things that will and will not blend using the product. Chips, candy, motor oils, electronics…he will put anything in there. All with a warning about whether or not it can be safely done at home. The campaign has been going for years and is still just as strong.
Best Job In The World
In 2009, an ad was placed online by Tourism Queensland, looking for someone to take a “caretaker position” of a luxurious Australian island off the Great Barrier Reef for six months. It includes free lodging in a beautiful villa, $150,000 as salary and transportation around the island for the duration. It sparked tens of thousands of video responses applying for the position, and was won by UK resident Ben Southall. He has since taken a permanent position as an Ambassador of Queensland Tourism.
Compare The Meerkat
CompareTheMarket.com launched into the spotlight following the launch of their Compare the Meerkat campaign. It features a set of CGI meetkats named Aleksandr Orlav, and his assistant Sergei. The Facebook page of the main character has more than 810,000 likes, and is very active.
Do you know of any social media campaigns that were especially successful? Do they inspire you? Let us know in the comments!