Five Great Social Media Campaigns in 2012/2013
With the best laptops now boasting HD screens and bundles of processing power, and smartphones boasting multimedia capabilities that were practically unthinkable a little over a decade ago, it’s no surprise that social media campaigns have moved well beyond the now obligatory Facebook and Twitter pages to encompass some of the most exciting and innovative advertising around. With this in mind, here, in no particular order, are some of the standouts of 2012, as well as some of the best campaigns to have emerged so far in 2013.
- Dodge Dart Registry – January 2013
It’s always going to be tough generating excitement for a new car launch. Kudos then to Dodge for not just adopting the usual strategy of lots of dynamic, long exposure shots of shiny cars flying through deserted city streets, but rather launching the Dodge Dart Registry. This website allowed potential purchasers to create a registry entry for the car and then contact their friends via social media for contributions to the cost. These contributions could be for any amount, from a couple of dollars to the cost of the entire car if you had some very generous parents or relatives. With 6,000 people having already created registry entries on the site, and Dodge having garnered substantial press attention, it’s a strategy that paid off in spades. The Dodge Dart campaign was simple, effective and useful; how much advertising can you say that about?
- Cadbury’s Giant Thumb – January 2012
How do you celebrate getting a million likes on Facebook, a cake seems a bit pathetic while a full-blown parade down the street might seem a bit self-important. For Cadbury, the solution was obvious – they’d build a gigantic Facebook thumb out of chocolate, and livestream the whole construction process. They did this in 48 hours and using 3 tonnes of chocolate. Moreover, the thumb was constructed in a room decorated with messages of support from its Facebook fans, and the build team was on Twitter and Facebook throughout to respond to comments and queries, making the build a truly social one. This stunt was an appropriately heavyweight success for Cadbury, earning the company 40,000 new Facebook fans and entailing over 350,000 interactions.
- TNT Belgium’s A Dramatic Surprise on a Quiet Square – April 2012
This one is frankly genius. To launch the premium TNT channel in Belgium, the station hit upon of those fantastic ideas that’s brilliant and yet blindingly obvious in retrospect. In trying to bring people to the drama in their living room, they would first bring the drama to the people. Consequently, a button was set up in a Flemish town square, with the label “push to add drama”. When the button was pushed, all hell broke loose, with a series of staged incidents unfolding including a fight, a shootout, an abduction and, perhaps most bizarrely some American football players, all with the poor sap who pressed the button standing slack-jawed in the middle of the square. And then, just as all the action has died down, a banner is unveiled from the top of a nearby building – ‘TNT: your daily dose of drama’. Simple, genius advertising that’s so far racked up 44 million hits on YouTube.
- One Small Tweet (John F. Kennedy Library and Musuem) – October 2012
There’s something fitting about Twitter being used to celebrate the moon landings, a medium of mass communication celebrating one of the world’s first global media events. Dreamt up by the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, the One Small Tweet Campaign was beautiful in its simplicity, every tweet hashtagged #onesmalltweet would represent 100 miles on the epic journey, with the aim of reaching the 238,900 mile distance between the earth and the moon. A dedicated website kept track of the tweets and virtual distance covered, and messages of support poured in from all over the world, ensuring the target was met easily and a truly landmark achievement was fittingly commemorated.
- Oreo’s Super Bowl Tweet – February 2013
Sometimes, social media campaigns are epic undertakings, planned with all the precision of their military namesakes and entailing hundreds of hours from work from dedicated employees. Sometimes however, they can be as simple as a tweet and a picture, sent at the right time and then heard around the world. This was the case with Oreo at the Super Bowl. During the blackout that left networks scrambling to fill time and sponsors scratching their heads, Oreo simply tweeted an ad showing an Oreo on a dark background with the slogan “you can still dunk in the dark”. The whole process took a matter of minutes, with Oreo executives and the company’s ad agency 360l already watching the game in a so-called “war room”. Over 16,000 retweets and acres of positive press from the likes of The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal later, and Oreo had effortlessly stolen the thunder of the Super Bowl sponsors and proved the value of timely tweeting.